529th CSSB Soldiers prepare for federal mobilization

Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct training on Army Warrior Tasks for individual movement techniques and movement under fire as well as the react to contact battle drill March 14, 2014, at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct training on Army Warrior Tasks for individual movement techniques and movement under fire as well as the react to contact battle drill March 14, 2014, at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion conducted their final field training exercises from March 2-23, 2014, at Fort Pickett to prepare for their upcoming federal mobilization to Kuwait. The three-week annual training period focused on Army Warrior Tasks, battle drills, mandatory briefings and online training. Approximately 70 Soldiers will begin serving on federal active duty June 19, 2014, and a departure ceremony is scheduled for June 22.

“Overall, it was a very successful AT as we completed about 95% of all required training for deploying Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Mike Waterman, commander of the 529th. “We feel like we are right on track in preparation for the deployment. The unit did an excellent job, was highly motivated and enthusiastic about the training.”

The training was planned and supervised by the Fort Pickett-based Pre-mobilization Training Assistance Element, and Soldiers from Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company conducted a majority of the instruction. Waterman credited both organizations with doing a “particularly outstanding job” in preparing the unit for their upcoming mission.

Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct training on casualty evacuation March 13, 2014, at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct training on casualty evacuation March 13, 2014, at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The training covered a number of basic Soldier skills like map reading, mounted and dismounted land navigation, individual weapons marksmanship as well as evaluate, treat and evacuate a casualty, Army Warrior Tasks for search a vehicle, employ grenades, individual movement techniques and movement under fire and battle drills for reacting to an ambush, indirect fire or enemy contact.

“This was my third rotation of mobilization training since the beginning of deployments in 2003, and the training the 229th MP’s and PTAE provided was well executed, resourced and challenging for our Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy D. White, command sergeant major of the 529th. “With the training they provided, we finished the three weeks motivated to take the next step towards the deployment.”

Waterman said that over the next two and half months the unit will focus on filling a few remaining vacancies, finishing up required individual training and conduct Yellow Ribbon events to help Soldiers and families prepare for up to a year of separation.

The situation in Kuwait is constantly changing, but Waterman said they expect to be responsible for providing mission command over several Army sustainment units as well as oversight and execution of multiple contracts.

“Some of our missions will be to provide control over distribution throughout Kuwait, management of a multi-class Supply Support Activity warehouse, two ammunition storage and distribution facilities, rigger operations and movement control operations,” Waterman said.

The mission should provide to be challenging, diverse and exciting.

“We’re excited to see how our training and preparation pays off in a true sustainment mission,” Waterman said. “With a combination of more than 250 Soldiers and approximately 600-800 contractors within the battalion in Kuwait, we’ll be busy but we have a smart, motivated and trained staff to excel.”

Most of the Soldiers in the unit are from the Hampton Roads area. About 10 Soldiers are from the Richmond area, approximately 10 are from the Southwest Virginia area, and about 5 are from the Northern Virginia area.

“The 529th Headquarters Soldiers are one of the most multi-talented staffs that I have ever served with,” White said. “The combination of their civilian skills and military training will make this staff resourceful for this type of deployment.”

The 529th was formed in December 2006 and is under the command of the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group. While in Virginia, the 529th has command and control of the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, the Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company, the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company, and the Virginia Beach-based 1940th and 1945th Contingency Contracting Teams. A rear detachment element for the 529th will remain in place to provide command and control for those units.

About 150 Soldiers from the 1710th Transportation Company recently returned to Virginia from federal active duty in Afghanistan where they conducted transportation support operations.

Two Soldiers from the Fort Pickett-based 134th Chaplain Support Team deployed to Qatar in early 2014, and the four Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 1945th Contingency Contracting Team deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year.

This is the second deployment for the 529th. The unit previously deployed in March 2010, when it operated from the remote forward operating base at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan. While there it pioneered logistical support operations as the first U.S. combat support battalion in the area to conduct operations. The battalion was responsible for building an expeditionary life support complex and infrastructure for the entire airbase while providing seamless sustainment operations for supported units as well as helping improve quality of life and promoting economic development in local Afghan communities.

Additional reporting by Master Sgt. A. J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

—–

Photos: AG and SEL visit 529th CSSB training for federal mobilization
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157642522356284/

Photos: 529th CSSB Soldiers prepare for upcoming federal mobilization
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157642340774193/

Virginia Beach-based 529th CSSB ordered to mobilize for federal active duty in June 2014 – Nov. 7, 2013
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2013/11/07/4605/

Soldiers from 1710th Trans. Co. return to Virginia from duty in Afghanistan – Feb. 25, 2014
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2014/02/25/4992/

1945th CCT departs for Afghanistan mission – Feb. 21, 2014
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2014/02/21/4978/

Va. Beach-based 529th CSSB receives national training award – Sept. 30, 2013
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2013/09/30/4503/

529th CSSB welcomes new commander, receives recognition from Governor – June 20, 2013
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2013/06/20/3938/