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101st Airborne Division Lifeliner Soldiers Prepare for Warfighter Exercise

 

101st Sustainment Brigade - LifelinersFort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne Division

Fort Campbell, KY – On May 6th, 2019, as the sun rose above the field on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Lifeliner Soldiers of the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), unloaded tents and equipment from their military vehicles, as part of a Tactical Operations Center Exercise to get ready for their upcoming Warfighter Exercise in the fall.

After returning from Afghanistan in March 2019, Lifeliner Soldiers were eager to get back to work and continue to maintain optimum readiness.

Capt. Andrew Paulin (left), company commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, ‘Angry Dogs’, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and 1st Sgt. Antodd Richards (right), first sergeant of HHC, discuss the location of where to set up the Tactical Operations Center Exercise for the upcoming week’s training exercise, May 6, 2019, on Fort Campbell, Ky. (Staff Sgt. Caitlyn Byrne, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Capt. Andrew Paulin (left), company commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, ‘Angry Dogs’, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and 1st Sgt. Antodd Richards (right), first sergeant of HHC, discuss the location of where to set up the Tactical Operations Center Exercise for the upcoming week’s training exercise, May 6, 2019, on Fort Campbell, Ky. (Staff Sgt. Caitlyn Byrne, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

They did this by holding a week-long TOCEX, in order to gauge equipment and Soldier readiness, as well as to test operational efficiency while in a field environment.

Capt. Andrew Paulin, company commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, ‘Angry Dogs’, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, further explained what a TOCEX entails and why it is important.

“A Tactical Operations Center Exercise, or TOCEX, is a deliberate training event where our brigade and battalion staff elements setup and validate their equipment,” stated Paulin. “This is important because it forces the staff sections to develop and test their TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) when moving to and establishing their field site. It is also how the staff validates their ability to support the division in a field or deployed environment.”

Lifeliner Soldiers of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, ‘Angry Dogs’, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), begin setting up tents for the Tactical Operations Center Exercise for the upcoming week’s training exercise, May 6, 2019, on Fort Campbell, Ky. (Staff Sgt. Caitlyn Byrne, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Lifeliner Soldiers of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, ‘Angry Dogs’, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), begin setting up tents for the Tactical Operations Center Exercise for the upcoming week’s training exercise, May 6, 2019, on Fort Campbell, Ky. (Staff Sgt. Caitlyn Byrne, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Paulin went on to emphasize the purpose behind holding TOCEXs, highlighting their importance for unit readiness and ensuring operational excellence through equipment checks and proper maintenance.

“The main purpose of this TOCEX is to train on our new tent systems, build our load plans for future movements, and identify shortfalls or shortages in our equipment,” Paulin said. “We took this opportunity to conduct a deliberate walk through of our processes so our next training event well planned, well executed, and we are able to conduct support operations in a field environment.”

According to Paulin, this was no last minute exercise but one that had a lot of planning and forethought put into it.

“When it comes to readiness, Lifeliner Soldiers want to make sure that they are ahead of the rest when it comes to providing ‘excellence to the line’ in the form of sustainment capabilities,” he said.

“The planning a coordinating for this event goes back to our planning in Afghanistan,” said Paulin. “The brigade and battalion staffs revalidated their TACSOPs (Tactical Standard Operating Procedures) for the TOC layouts, ordered new tents, and laid out what our training glide path to Warfighter this fall would be. When we returned home we then coordinated for land and conducted your typical field preparations to execute this TOCEX.”

Paulin stated that he was pleased with how his team had performed, and he was glad to be able to work alongside his Soldiers to accomplish the mission.

“It is a good feeling,” Paulin said. “There is a miss conception that big staffs have a hard time with officer participation, but in this company it is not uncommon to see the officer in charge in the suck with their Soldiers. I am proud of this company and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together in future.”

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bonano (center right), deputy commanding officer for the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), briefs Col. Stephanie Barton, commander of the 101st Sus. Bde., as well as CSM Anthony McAdoo, senior enlisted officer for the brigade, on how set-up and operations during the Tactical Operations Center Exercise have been going, May 13, 2019, on Fort Campbell, Ky. (Staff Sgt. Caitlyn Byrne, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bonano (center right), deputy commanding officer for the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), briefs Col. Stephanie Barton, commander of the 101st Sus. Bde., as well as CSM Anthony McAdoo, senior enlisted officer for the brigade, on how set-up and operations during the Tactical Operations Center Exercise have been going, May 13, 2019, on Fort Campbell, Ky. (Staff Sgt. Caitlyn Byrne, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Spc. Joseph Weaver, a geospatial engineer for the 101st Sust. Bde., added that he found this exercise to be very helpful in outlining how future operations will be carried out, letting him know what is expected of him.

“I thought this field exercise was actually useful in maintaining mission readiness,” stated Weaver. “I can see how practicing setting up equipment is important, and we got new tents, so it was good to see how to put them up so it would be easier and more efficient when we put them up again in future. I think my team and I did a good job setting our stations up and I know we’ll be ready when it’s time to do Warfighter later this year.”


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