Written by Lt. Col. Joe Hollister
Szczecin, Poland – Members of Tennessee’s 230th Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Chattanooga and Smyrna, are participating in Operation Anakonda 16, a multi-national and multi-component exercise.
According to the United States Army European Command (USAREUR), Anakonda 16 “brings more than 31,000 service members from 24 NATO and partner nations together to train, exercise and integrate Polish national command and force structures into an allied, joint, multinational environment.”The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate that the United States stands behind its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners and demonstrate the capability to move forces into the region with mass and speed in order to deter any potential aggressors in the region.
The 230th Sustainment Brigade’s mission is to support Reception, Staging and Onward Movement of arriving forces and their equipment.
The unit is headquartered in the northern port city of Szczecin, and provides mission command for subordinate units arrayed across six locations in Poland and Germany.
The first phase of the 230th operation is to receive the incoming US forces and link them with the incoming unit’s equipment before sending the unit to their designated operational area. Once all incoming units are received and moved to their training area, the mission for the 230th changes.
Upon conclusion of Anakonda 16, the 230th will reverse the process and retrograde and redeploy units and their equipment back to their home station.
However, it is not as simple as it sounds. The personnel and equipment must be accounted for, moved back to air, rail and seaports of debarkation, and prepared for redeployment. Tactical vehicles used by the units must go thru a series of wash points and pass customs inspection before being loaded on ships for return to the US.
The coordination and scheduling of the various logistics, personnel and health service support functions is part of this unit’s “complex and diverse mission”.
Operation Anakonda 16 runs from May 7th thru July 15th. To cover such an extended time period, the 230th sent soldiers in two different iterations.
According to Col. Steve Barney, the 230th Brigade Commander, “The brigades participation in this exercise is historical because the United States has never participated in the exercise with the amount of equipment and personnel currently operating in Poland. This operation has allowed us to deploy and operate in an exciting and challenging environment and perform a real operational mission. Our Soldiers are performing exceptionally well during the exercise, just as we expect them to. It is truly an honor for me to serve with our Soldier’s who represent everything that is right about the United States, the Great State of Tennessee and the many fine communities that they represent.”