[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                       August 8, 2008

Soldiers train to support other 
personnel in Patriot Warrior '08

By Sgt. Jeshua Nace, The Real McCoy Contributor

FORT MCCOY, Wis. ó One focus of Operation Patriot Warrior is to bring as much realism to training as possible by replicating the environment of an operational base near a combat zone.

Photo: Soldiers from the 377th Military Police Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, pull security around a Humvee before entering a Mobile Urban Training Site village. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jonna Bennett)
Soldiers from the 377th Military Police Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, pull security around a Humvee before entering a Mobile Urban Training Site village. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jonna Bennett)

This includes all of the support personnel required for the base to be fully functional.

The 406th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB) provides these services to Forward Operation Base (FOB) Dunlop.

"Weíre basically beans and bullets!" said Staff Sgt. Steve Tolliver, Senior Human Resource Sergeant for the 406th CSSB, when asked what a CSSB is responsible for.

The overall mission of a CSSB is to go inside a FOB and setup operations to support units within the FOB. They maintain normal operations, stay in constant contact with the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and acquire food, water, ammo, parts and medical supplies, according to Tolliver.

"Also, we try to take care of quality-of life-issues through MWR, while providing additional security within that environment. We assist units as needed," said Tolliver.

Soldiers come in after their shift or before and just want a place to relax, hydrate, read magazines or play darts.

This gives them the ability to watch a movie and unwind before they go on their next training mission.

The MWR in the FOB is definitely a good thing, when I was on active duty we would spend 30 days in the field with no MWR. Itís pretty nice to see Soldiers from different units and states to come in and sit down, relax and tell their stories of what they experienced overseas," according to the Headquarters and Headquarters Command supply NCO.

To push the point that Soldiers must be prepared for everything, the command decided to have a promotion board out in the FOB, which is uncommon, according to Tolliver.

The 406th CSSB does more than just supply and administrative services.

"At the Dunlop FOB we provide security, now in a normal theater of operation we would augment a percentage of our unit like every unit within a FOB would towards security; whether it would be Soldiers for the ECP (entry control point), the towers, or as roving guards around FOB. Iíve seen in-theater Soldiers being augmented to infantry units and cavalry units outside the wire for security, patrols and humanitarian aid missions and we would play a part in that if we were ask to do so," said Tolliver.

The 406th CSSB is coming on year four of its five-year cycle; they came back from Iraq in November of 2004.

Since then they have gone through a restructuring which has increased the strength of the unit by 61 percent.

The restructuring was done to make the unit more self-sustaining and modular, according to Tolliver.

The FOB, including the training that goes outside the FOB, is a really good opportunity for new Soldiers to experience how itís going to be and what itís going to look like in a combat zone.

The only difference between the FOB here versus the ones in Iraq are basically size, however, the FOB here includes all the things that will be found in Iraq, such as; entry control points, security towers, tents, containerized housing, etc.

The Army is also using loudspeakers to simulate the traditional prayer times that Muslims are accustomed to for realism, according to Tolliver.

"For the lower enlisted the biggest event of the day is going to the "old country buffet," now with the new types of training and reserve units going overseas Soldiers are really paying attention. Now they have a chance to do something they canít inside of a reserve center, like, setup an entry control point, build and defend a perimeter, help out with base defense. This really allows for them to see how all the staff sections are intertwined," said Tolliver.

The biggest difficulty is getting equipment and ammo during reserve time that will be used in a combat zone, according to Tolliver.

(Nace is a member of the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Public Affairs.)


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