Fort Lee — More than 34 military personnel from the Defense Supply Center Richmond traveled to Fort Lee’s Training Support Center Friday for a combined active and reserve force training exercise. It was the first time the military personnel from the logistics organization participated in joint training there.
Defense Supply Center Richmond is the aviation supply and demand chain manager for the Defense Logistics Agency and serves within the Department of Defense as the primary source of supply for more than 1.2 million repair parts and operating supply items. DSCR’s mission is to provide best value aviation weapons systems and environmental logistics support to America’s armed forces – on land, at sea and in the air.
The group spent the day training on the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, the Virtual Combat Convoy Trainer and the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer. While the training has a video arcade feeling, it packs a powerful dose of military reality.
“The convoy training and the shoot-no-shoot drills were the best part of the training. The virtual goggles added reality to the training and using technology makes it as close to realistic as possible,” said Marine Maj. Patrick McDoniel, supervisor for Integrated Supply Team No. 8 in Aviation Supplier Operations, Aviation and Airframes Division 3.
The VCCT prepares military members for convoy operations where they are most vulnerable to enemy attack. The trainer develops and enhances basic combat skills in combat situations that patrols and convoys frequently encounter, including improvised explosive devises, small arms fire and ambushes. The trainer also serves as a bridge for convoy live-fire training and stability and support operations.
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Franchot Hicks works in Aviation Customer Operations as the senior enlisted advisor and superintendent-in-charge of the Air Force Enlisted Career Broadening Program.
He said he didn’t get a chance to use the HEAT trainer before he deployed to Kuwait and was glad to have finally had a chance to use it.
“I’ll probably go into theater again,” said Hicks. “The HEAT training will help prepare me to qualify when I deploy again.” Hicks said HEAT qualification was added to military pre-deployment training in 2007 and the qualification standard is to be able to get out of an inverted Humvee in 20 seconds.
The HEAT teaches the proper procedures to exit from an inverted Humvee. It increases Soldiers’ confidence in their ability to respond automatically in an inverted emergency whether they are underwater, under fire or on fire.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Natasha Erskine instructed people on the HEAT trainer and with the help of Staff Sgt. Kimberly Parker.
Members had to reorient themselves, escape, and set up a perimeter watch to complete the training. Navy Rear Adm. Raymond English, director, Joint Reserve Force, Defense Logistics Agency, based at Fort Belvoir, was also on hand to meet the DSCR personnel and observe the training.
“This is the first time I’ve visited the Reservists here at the Richmond supply center,” said English. “I really wanted to come down and see the Reservists and it just happens that the training was going on. It’s a good opportunity to see the type of training they are able to get at the drill site and to meet with them. Richmond is just my first stop, I hope to get out and see all of the 733 Reservists in DLA.”
Army Reserve Col. Philip Foster, joint team leader for the DSCR reserve force, helped organize the training event.
“This is the first time that we’ve brought all of DSCR’s military together for joint training,” said Foster. “It is a chance for us to get to know each other as a military force, to do some real training, and to prepare us for mobilization.”
Foster said eight DSCR military members spent a week at Fort Lee to become qualified to conduct the training. Navy Lt. Kelly Weaverling, Air Force Reserve Capt. Jake Bowen and Army Maj. David Green helped lead the training.
Bowen and Weaverling helped personnel in the darkened weapons familiarization rooms as they laid in prone positions with weapons resting on sand bags for qualification training, or stood with feet braced to fire the M-9 pistol.
They also received familiarization training on the M-16/A4 rifle, M-4 carbine, M-249 squad automatic weapon, M-240B machine gun and M-2 machine gun.
“It was a good opportunity for Air Force and Navy personnel to get weapons familiarization training beyond the M-9 and with the convoy training,” Bowen said.
Marine Col. Gary Wiest, DSCR deputy commander of operations spent the day training along side the military members.
“This event was a great opportunity for DSCR’s military to receive realistic combat-related training provided at a first-class training center,” said Wiest. “In addition, DSCR’s active duty and reserve military personnel were able to spend a day together strengthening the cohesion of the DSCR team.”