ESC Soldiers conduct STAFFEX for contingency ops

Photo & Story by Staff Sgt. Joel Gibson, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs

Fort Hood, Texas —Soldiers of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) participated in a staff training exercise at the battle simulation center here April 11-15.

During his opening remarks, Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, the commanding general of the 13th SC(E), said the command needs to be ready to enable humanitarian relief in the event of being called to help a Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief mission.

The exercise involved two days of classroom study, learning what is expected of a U.S. military unit and specifically an ESC during HA/DR operations, followed by mission planning.

While the classes involved members of the staff teaching subjects like mission essential tasks and operating environment; the first day evolved into discussions held by U.S. Army North subject matter experts on defense support of civil authority and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The second day was highlighted by instructors from U.S. Army South and the 377th Theater Support Command.

Lt. Col. Brian Savoie, the liaison officer to U.S. Army South from the 377th TSC said, “The responsibility of basically a [Joint Logistics Command] does not follow a typical deployment ramp-up and deployment process that we’re used to with [Operation Iraqi Freedom] and [Operation Enduring Freedom].”

During his briefing the New Orleans native expounded on this concept by highlighting the importance of preparation for every contingency operation.

“Planning, planning and more planning,” is how Savoie explained what he described as the most important aspect of a rapid deploying force being prepared for contingency operations, “You need to develop a rapid deploying command post, an early entry module that can be wheels up within 96 hours of notification.”

One of the key aspects of attending the briefings was for the staff to understand what is involved in providing support for HA/DR operations, and what is expected of the ESC said Maj. Marc Coleman a strategist with U.S. Army South and Richmond, Vt. native.

“Without understanding your own logistics capabilities, we will fail in our mission,” Coleman said

More than 100 members of the staff filled out the spacious conference room to hold a video teleconference with Brig. Gen. Robin B. Akin, the commanding general of the 3rd ESC, to discuss lessons learned in their role supporting HA/DR operations following the 2010 Haiti earthquakes.

Immediately following the VTC, the staff broke into small groups to write a mission analysis for enabling HA/DR operations in the event of being requested by the government of Haiti, Guatemala or Honduras.

The country selection was determined by the likelihood of a government within United States Southern Command’s area of responsibility requesting international aid.


news photoMaj. Marc Coleman a strategist with U.S. Army South briefs 13th SC(E) Soldiers at the battle simulation center during a week-long Staff Training Exercise to prepare the logistics command for enabling Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief contingency operations. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Joel Gibson, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs)