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June 24, 2011

Training

Diamond Saber helps prepare financial management Soldiers for deployments

More than 600 financial management Soldiers and support personnel from throughout the Army came to Fort McCoy in June to participate in Operation Diamond Saber, the largest financial management exercise in the Army. The U.S. Army Reserve Command executing agent for this year’s exercise was 336th Financial Management Center (FMC) from Lake Charles, La.
PHOTO: Army Finance Management Soldiers participate in a Diamond Saber. Photo by Rob Schuette
Army Finance Management Soldiers participate in a Diamond Saber mission rehearsal exercise at Fort McCoy. The training replicates conditions Soldiers would find if they were deployed. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

The Soldiers represented 50 units from Reserve, National Guard and active-duty components. They spent the first week of the training in the classroom learning about current deployment issues and the latest technology available to support troops in the field.

The second week of the training was a mission rehearsal exercise, which involved participating in a series of scenarios designed to prepare the Soldiers for any mission they might receive in a theater of operations or in a contingency area.

Training covered seven areas, which included disbursing, military pay, commercial vendor services, resource management, financial management support operations, information management operations and banking.

Maj. Brian Doerr, commander of the 33rd Financial Management Company of Fort Drum, N.Y., said his unit was one of four companies aligned for exercise purposes under the 18th FMC, an active-duty organization from Fort Bragg, N.C.
The units functioned as financial management companies would operate in the real world, he said.

Sgt. Maj. Annie Walker of the 18th said her unit went through the exercise to be evaluated and certified as deployment ready. The unit will support financial management needs for both Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom, she said.

Capt. Jaime Soto, commander of the 389th Financial Management Detachment of Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, said the unit came to the exercise at Fort McCoy to prepare for a deployment to support Operation New Dawn later this year.

Sgt. 1st Class Eduee Santiago of the 389th, the detachment sergeant, said the exercise provided good hands-on training for the unit members. “It helps them improve their service while they’re deployed,” Santiago said.

1st Sgt. Sheryl Ayeni of the 33rd said her organization (formerly the 469th FMC) set up and organized the training last year, while her current unit received the training this year. “The training was great,” Ayeni said. “It showed all the components of financial management operations. Soldiers can see what they do up front to receive the funds all the way to the end of the process where they pay out the funds.”

After the exercise was completed, commanders of the individuals and units involved in the training knew if their personnel were ready for field missions.

Strengths and areas needing improvement were identified, so commanders could adjust/modify their training schedule to address these issues.

This is the eighth year Fort McCoy has hosted Operation Diamond Saber.

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