SC (E) Participates in Wartrace Conference
Story by Maj. Jay R. Adams
13th SC (E) Public Affairs Office
FORT HOOD, TEXAS — The 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) continued their deployment preparations by hosting Senior Leader Deployment Training and a Wartrace Conference this week.
Commanders and staff from as far away as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and throughout the continental United States gathered to plan and train for their deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom later this year.
13th SC(E) commander, Brig. Gen. Michael Terry, emphasized that while attendees would receive important information during briefings, the most important benefit of the conference was establishing relationships and building the team.
"I don't care if you are Army Reserve, National Guard or active duty," Terry proclaimed, "We are all one team. We can't operate unless we are all on the same team."
The conference began Friday with brigade and battalion commanders and their spouses conducting two days of team building exercises and information briefs.
Briefings included family readiness group activities, Military One Source, casualty operations, military benefits, deployment legal issues and media awareness.
As part of media awareness training, some commanders, spouses and support Soldiers conducted simulated interviews.
Monday, the spouses returned home and commanders were joined by their staffs to receive classified briefings on their mission and the critical tasks they will be expected to perform in Iraq.
"We are falling in on a battlefield that is evolved and is now fairly mature," said Terry. Terry emphasized that the conditions in Iraq continue to evolve and that training Iraqi Security Forces, especially their logistics units, will be a key part of the mission.
"The process is getting those Iraqi forces to sustain themselves logistically," Terry said. "We will put a lot of focus on that." Briefings during the Wartrace portion included a Road to War brief, operational security, improvised explosive device training and the concept of support.
Perhaps the most critical information was relayed Tuesday as the 13th SC(E) staff briefed the operation order on how the transfer of authority with units currently in Iraq to units of the 13th SC(E) would occur.
The 13th SC(E) expects to grow to well over 20,000 Soldiers while deployed to Iraq.
This conference continues deployment preparations which began in earnest during a conference with these same units in January.
"The hard questions, answered now, will make things easier down the road," Terry said. Then, "This formally kicks off the road to war."
In January, 3rd COSCOM planners briefed members of the 13th COSCOM on their concept of support, sustainment of Iraqi Security Forces, future basing, future force structure, and a myriad of other topics pertaining to operations in Iraq.
The 3rd COSCOM's mission, and the future mission of the 13th SC(E), is taking care of all logistics in theater, said Maj. Mike A. Tate, plans officer for the 13th SC(E), at the January conference.
Terry opened this week's Wartrace conference by detailing his command philosophy. "We exist to support. That is our mission and we will not fail in our mission."
Terry emphasized support to maneuver units.
"Those units that we support, receive it first. That is why we exist."
"Loyalty is very important to me. You've got mine now. I expect yours," said Terry.
The Wartrace conference concludes today with each subordinate commander conducting confirmation briefs to Terry to ensure that they clearly understand their mission and are prepared to accomplish it.
Patty Brindley, wife of Lt. Col Brian Brindly, commander 4th Corps Materiel Management Center, 13th SC(E) conducts a practice interview with a 'reporter' as part of Media Awareness training. The 13th SC(E) conducted Senior Leader Deployment Training this week with brigade and battalion commanders and their spouses in preparation for their upcoming deployment. Photo by Spc. Adryen Wallace, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Multimedia Specialist
Brig. Gen. Michael Terry and Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Fountain of the 13th SC(E) and their subordinate commanders and staff are briefed on operations in Iraq during the 13th SC(E) Wartrace Conference. The Wartrace is part of the 13th SC(E) training for their upcoming deployment. Photo by Maj. Jay R. Adams, 13th SC(E) PAO