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Posted: July 13, 2017 2:37 p.m.
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87th CSSB supports 4-25 IBCT at JRTC

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Soldiers assigned to the 87th CSSB, 3rd IDSB stand around the sand table for a brief before a convoy in June while at the Joint Readiness Training Center on Fort Polk, Louisiana. Convoy commanders and other members of the convoy were given instructions based on the routes, terrain, check points and other information related to the mission.

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Approximately 290 Soldiers from the 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade attended the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana during the month of June.

The battalion provided logistical support to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, an airborne unit based out of Fort Richardson, Alaska.

The training included small groups of Soldiers from 87th CSSB headquarters and subordinate companies including 226th Composite Supply Company, 135th Quartermaster, 396th Composite Transportation Company, 24th Ordnance Company, and 632nd Maintenance Company.

Troop transportation was of the biggest importance, said Sgt. 1st Class Latrice Brenson, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the battalion’s logistics section.

“When the BCT did live fire exercises, we were responsible for going to pick them up and transporting them back and forth,” she said. “They don’t have the assets to transport themselves.”

Other missions during the rotation included personnel holding area operations, parachute recovery, and mayor cell duties involving medical support, entry control point operations and running the dining facility. Soldiers from the supply company were also able to provide the battalion with purifiewd water and laundry services, duties that are rarely needed at home-station.

Due to the distance between the battalion’s staging area and the BCT, a group of about 67 Soldiers, known as a forward logistics element, deployed for three days to a closer location that was inside “the box.” From there, they were able to provide the commodities needed by the BCT in a much quicker fashion, ultimately allowing the Soldiers more sleep and less travel.

“The FLE was a good moment for the 87th CSSB because they were able to provide support and close the gap between how long it took the convoys usually,” said Brenson.

Being inside the training area meant that the FLE was expected to be ready for anything at any time. Opposing forces, role players acting as the enemy, attacked the FLE daily as a test to see if they could breach the perimeter. Though there were simulated casualties in the process, the Soldiers still reacted properly.

During the element’s deployment, a storm hit. While it slowed down the convoy, the wind and rain did not stop the Soldiers from executing their missions, even with inches of mud trapping their feet with every step.
 
“All this was in the middle of a tropical storm and I just thought it was very admirable,” Brenson said.

The training, overall, provided the troops an opportunity to practice convoy operations.

“I think the Soldiers got more proficient,” she said. “They got in some good training with warrior tasks and battle drills because they had to react to contact.”

From the beginning of the rotation to the after-action review, Soldiers’ actions and reactions improved through the application of learned skills and proposed adjustments.

“We had a lot of constructive criticism,” Brenson said. “The Soldiers reacted in a positive way and the next time they did better.”

Now that the unit has returned to Fort Stewart, Brenson said she has learned to be more proactive rather than reactive because the staff spent a lot of time practicing the military decision-making process.


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