By Capt. Angela King-Sweigart, The Real
FORT MCCOY, Wis. -- The Army's largest finance exercise
began its second phase here June 10. Diamond Saber gathered
approximately 700 finance Soldiers in a multicomponent, real-world two
week training exercise designed to simulate conditions Soldiers will
encounter when they deploy.
Cashier Spc. Angela N. Macklin,
210th Financial Management Center Military Pay NCOIC Sgt. Everett
T. Smith, 230th Financial Management Company, and Military Pay
Spc. Natasha P. Lindsey, 230th,
submit pay inquiries during the Diamond Saber exercise.
(Photo by 1st. Lt. Chris Dunphy)
"This training is a snapshot for what a Soldier
experiences in a finance deployment cycle," said Army Reservist
Maj. Douglas Ottenberg, S3 (training officer) for the exercise, 398th
Financial Management Center (FMC), Fort Belvoir, Va., and a veteran of
two finance deployments.
Diamond Saber was organized in two phases designed to mirror
the phases in a deployment, a technical train-up, and an exercise
phase, he said.
The first weeklong phase
was the technical train-up, simulating a premob training, Ottenberg
Classes covered a range of financial topics including
disbursing operations, commercial vendor services, resource management
and military pay, he said.
The second phase of Diamond Saber was the exercise. During this
phase, Soldiers went through theater-like scenarios conducted by
observer-controllers (OCs) to see how they react and handle certain
The scenarios covered lessons learned in the previous week, he
Staff Sgt. Travis Alexander, senior military pay NCO,
Headquarters 230th Financial Management Company, Fort Carson, Colo., is
one of the OCs for Diamond Saber.
Alexander, who recently returned from a deployment to Iraq,
said the scenarios are not meant to be easy, so as to give the
Soldiers a feel for what to expect overseas.
As the exercise phase began, Alexander said he was pleased with
the Soldiers' efforts.
An added benefit to the training is the full integration of all
three components of the finance corps: active Army, Army Reserve and
Army National Guard.
Maj. Floyd Lacey Jr., commander, 374th FMC, Wilmington, De.,
said he was looking forward to the opportunity to train with
Soldiers from all components.
"Diamond Saber allows us the chance to learn and leverage
off each others' skill sets and experiences," he said.
Capt. Brian Slagle, commander, 395th Financial Management
Detachment, Salt Lake City, Utah, agreed, adding the real-world setup
of the exercise will greatly enhance Soldiers' deployment readiness.
"It's definitely a benefit," he said. "A lot of
times our training involves SRPs (Soldier Readiness Programs), ranges
or APFTs (Army Physical Fitness Tests)."
"Here we have real, financial-specific training, with
handpicked Soldiers fresh from deployments to train and provide us
real lessons learned from the field," Slagle said.
(King-Sweigart is a member of the 326th
Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)