FORT LEE, Va. (March 24, 2011) -- An element of 10th Mountain Division chose Fort Lee as the location to conduct a two-week deployment training exercise that ends this weekend.
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion, bused more than 250 Soldiers to the installation from Fort Drum, N.Y., to participate in a two-week culmination field training event.
The unit set up field operations at Training Area 27, located about a mile from Range Control headquarters.
"That's where we have all of our tents, life support - showers, laundry, mobile kitchen and our tactical operations center where we are practicing our battle commands as if we were deployed to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world where we might be called," said Capt. Adam Christenson, the unit's commander.
Christenson said the unit had initially planned to bring down only a few Soldiers to participate in a computer-simulation exercise but decided the facilities here could benefit the entire unit.
‘We thought it was a good opportunity to leverage a lot of the capabilities this post has," he said. "The Sustainment Center of Excellence, the Ordnance Campus and the Army Logistics University - all these new facilities helps to train sustainment personnel to conduct missions all over the world. While we're supporting the simulation for the 4th SC, we're taking advantage of the fact that we can get training for our young Soldiers at the training ranges that they have here."
The unit's training objectives were primarily to physically test its medical capabilities and to exercise its command and control procedures via computer simulation. The latter involved the participation of several units to include the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), a U.S. Army Reserve unit based in San Antonio.
"We're pretending that we're a subordinate to a unit that's going to Afghanistan," said Christenson, noting the 4th SC(E) is slated for deployment. "We're also pretending that we're in Afghanistan supporting our Soldiers."
Christenson's unit used Fort Lee's Military Operations in Urban Terrain site for the medical exercise. The site is essentially an Iraqi village setting, featuring a number of large connexes or storage containers fashioned to look like dwellings commonly seen in the Middle East. Soldiers navigated their way through the village using a casualty scenario.
"This training is focused on individual Soldiers and their individual readiness - their Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills that are common to all Soldiers," said Christenson. "These Soldiers will eventually find themselves in Afghanistan and could be in a situation where they have to perform immediate first aide, evacuate casualties, react to contact, return fire or call in fire support."
The unit's first sergeant said his Soldiers don't get the opportunity to conduct such training routinely at Fort Drum, so they took to the training mission with much enthusiasm.
"I haven't seen our Soldiers motivated like this in a long time," 1st Sgt. Michael Ostrander. "They're doing stuff they don't normally do. These guys are transporters, button-pushers, but they're out here doing stuff that everyone else gets to do and enjoying it. It's really good stuff and we couldn't be more proud of our Soldiers."