The Army Quartermaster Center and School’s 23rd QM Brigade has officially begun a new era of field training.
The brigade ran about 400 Soldiers through the first iteration of its weeklong Logistics Warrior field training exercise at Fort A.P. Hill on March 30.
‘LogWarrior,’ as it is commonly known, was formerly held at Fort Lee’s Training Area 5 located on the north side of Route 36 just off River Road. The exercise was moved to A.P. Hill to accommodate Base Realignment and Closure mandates.
Maj. Douglas Poff, rotational task force commander for the inaugural Log Warrior exercise at A.P. Hill, said the facilities there are impressive.
“I think they are outstanding,” said Poff, 266th QM Battalion executive officer. “We have lots of training land and a lot of training resources that weren’t necessarily available to us at Fort Lee.”
Fort A.P. Hill is located about 75 miles north of Fort Lee in Caroline County near the town of Bowling Green. It spans more than 75,000 acres with about 44,000 acres set aside for maneuver training. That includes a 27,000-acre live-fire complex. Poff said there are obvious advantages the installation has over the 6,000-acre Fort Lee.
“There are more ranges here and different types of ranges here,” said Poff, noting the ranges aren’t necessarily better. “They have more ranges and range facilities because this post was designed to be a maneuver training facility. Fort Lee wasn’t designed as a maneuver facility but rather a tenant post and will be more so with BRAC.”
During Log Warrior training exercises, students are trained and tested on several Army-mandated tasks and drills to include convoy procedures and military operations in urban terrain. At Fort Lee, because of the limited amount of space available and other restrictions, some of this training often took place at locations not best suited for it.
“For example, you couldn’t fire after 10 p.m. because there was a residential housing area right next to the training range,” said Poff, speaking of Training Range 5. “Here, I don’t have that same restriction.”
The Fort A.P. Hill training areas boasts a larger MOUT site, a convoy live-fire, larger M-16 ranges, and a Leadership Reaction Course. An LRC is comprised of several physical obstacles designed to enhance teamwork and leadership skills. The 23rd QM Bde. trainers seemed to be enthusiastic about this addition to their training options that weren’t previously available.
“As I see it, the LRC is one of the best training events of Log Warrior,” said Staff Sgt. Kenya Spevey, a Company G, 266th QM Bn. drill sergeant and combat lifesaver. “The Soldiers actually get to work together as a team, increase their thinking skills and make something happen – things they don’t get to do in the garrison. We had to actually kick some Soldiers out of here because this is what they wanted to do for hours.”
In addition to the wide variety of training ranges, both cadre and students took favorably to A.P. Hill’s lodging facilities. Fort Lee’s Log Warrior cadre and students were lodged in a tent city. Under those conditions, weather-related issues were a recurring concern.
At A.P. Hill, students are lodged in concrete barracks with showers, and the facilities can accommodate up to 400 students.
“The facilities are quite adequate,” said Master Sgt. Paul Vance, Log Warrior noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “We have plenty of space for students and cadre.”
Vance said that the 23rd QM Bde. has access to 18 barracks and administrative buildings to include a permanent, small dining facility. Such a facitliy was not available at Training Area 5 so meals were served out of tents. Facility NCOIC Sgt. 1st Class Angel Cabrera said the first week went well, but the operation isn’t where it should be.
“There are always improvements that can be done to a facility that will make things easier for the Soldier,” said the 506th QM Company member, who headed a group of seven food service personnel from the 49th QM Group. “They’re moving things around (in the facility) so that the flow is better, but for right now it’s excellent.”
But the A.P. Hill version of Log Warrior is still some ways off from attaining a target level of efficiency, said Vance. He said the complete transition will take several more rotations before the operation is fine-tuned.
“Overall the first rotation was successful,” he said. “Our current plans are to continue to grow and build on what we done to this point.”
It is not known how long the Log Warrior exercises will continue at A.P. Hill.
Training Area 5 at Fort Lee is slated to become the new home for the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School.