13th SC(E) Assists 321st SB in Pre-Deployment MRX

Story and Photos by Pfc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th SC(E) Public Affairs

The 321st Sustainment Brigade conducted a Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX) here Feb. 19 – 27 at the Battle Simulation Center. The MRX was designed to test the Baton Rouge, La., based Army Reserve unit’s readiness as it prepares to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Fort Hood’s own 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) acted as the brigade’s higher headquarters to provide oversight during the exercise. Through the course of the training, however, the 13th was able to provide insight into the deployment operations as well.

“Our job is to provide command and control as well as training opportunities for the brigade’s staff during the MRX,” said Maj. Sidney D. Loyd, Human Resources Support Officer, Support Operations, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th SC(E).

One of the main highlights of the MRX was the opportunity for the brigade to identify issues that may not have been planned for. The chance to resolve issues in a controlled environment, before Soldiers lives are on the line, is perhaps the single most important factor for this exercise Loyd said.

“We try to find better solutions to better fit the fight,” said Sgt. Ramón J. Robinson III, battle staff NCO, “That way we can help cut back on U.S. casualties by having a better plan and always thinking one step ahead.”

Another challenge presented by the eight day exercise was the increased operational tempo.

“The hardest part for us is the condensed timeline;” said Loyd, “All these events occur in the span of a few hours as opposed to a few days.”

The 321st SB met the challenges it faced in a trial by fire as the exercise progressed.

Sgt. 1st Class, Mark Coovert, operations battle NCO, HHC, 13th SC(E) said, “The exercise is going pretty well, from day one to now, they’ve gotten a lot better in all aspects.”

Sgt. 1st Class, Mark Coovert
Sgt. 1st Class, Mark Coovert, operations battle NCO, HHC, 13th SC(E), reviews the daily battle update brief for the Baton Rouge, La., based Army Reserve 321st Sustainment Brigade during their MRX here at Fort Hood Feb. 19-27 at the Battle Simulation Center. Fort Hood's 13th SC(E) acted as the higher headquarters and command and control element for the exercise.

 

Soldiers from the Support Operations Branch
Soldiers from the Support Operations Branch of the 13th SC(E) compile data for the Baton Rouge, La., based Army Reserve 321st Sustainment Brigade during their MRX here at Fort Hood Feb. 19-27 at the Battle Simulation Center. Fort Hood's 13th SC(E) acted as the higher headquarters and command and control element for the exercise.

Soldiers from the Support Operations Branch
Col. Samuel Bethel, commander, 321st Sustainment Brigade, answers questions from a simulated television reporter portrayed by a member of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs office. The 13th SC(E) acted as the higher command for the Baton Rouge, La. based Army Reserve Sustainment Brigade during their pre-deployment mission rehearsal exercise here Feb. 19-27.