Soldiers of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 39th Transportation Battalion Movement Control conducted a mission readiness exercise on Panzer Kaserne, Jan. 14 to 18, to prepare for their upcoming deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Once the MRE commenced, the battalion virtually disembarked Germany and was operating in full gear in Bagram, Afghanistan. “The intent of the training was to emulate the current movement control battalion’s mission in Afghanistan to provide a realistic training event for our Soldiers and leaders in the battalion,” said Maj. Jessica Salgado, operations officer for the 39th Trans. Bn. Soldiers and leaders completed scenarios that employed critical thinking skills that included planning strategic projects to briefing the battalion commander and diverse Soldier issues often encountered downrange.
Decisions made, good or bad, had a range of consequences that would affect the outcome of the scenarios and test the battalion’s processes and procedures.
Although movement control battalion Soldiers are typically movement control specialists, Soldiers with different military occupational specialties cross trained to meet the battalion’s objectives. “My (military occupation) specialty is a heavy equipment operator, but I learned skills that a movement control specialist uses, so I was constantly busy learning the job,” said Spc. Michael Boswell, with 39th Trans. Bn. “I enjoyed the authenticity of the training event; it seemed like we were actually downrange.”
The MRE was planned by Salgado and the Kaiserslautern Mission Command Training Center, and involved support from the 39th Trans. Bn., the 21st TSC and the 49th Joint Movement Control Battalion. “The KMCTC support during the planning process was phenomenal,” said Salgado. “Their guidance and expertise made the computerized training event a reality.”
To assist with the training exercise, the 39th Trans. Bn. flew in two members from the 49th JMCB; the unit that they will be replacing in Afghanistan. During the past five months, the two units developed a working relationship including a visit to Bagram in November to better prepare for their transfer of authority. Overall, the unit’s relationship and ability to effectively communicate led to a successful training event preparing the 39th Trans. Bn. with the ability to provide movement control for United States and coalition forces in support of their upcoming deployment, added Salgado.