UMO course trains Soldiers, Coast Guard on logistics of deploying

National Guard Soldiers from D.C, Maryland and Virginia join Coast Guard personnel from across the country for a Unit Movement Officer Course hosted by the Virginia Army National Guard’s Directorate of Logistics Aug. 3-7, 2015, at Camp Pendleton Collective training Center in Virginia Beach. The weeklong course prepares servicemembers for the challenges of moving massive amounts of equipment for deployment or large-scale training events. The course included familiarization with air assets including a CH-47 Chinook , a UH-60 Black Hawk and a C-130 Hercules and a visit by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

National Guard Soldiers from D.C, Maryland and Virginia join Coast Guard personnel from across the country for a Unit Movement Officer Course hosted by the Virginia Army National Guard’s Directorate of Logistics Aug. 3-7, 2015, at Camp Pendleton Collective training Center in Virginia Beach. The weeklong course prepares servicemembers for the challenges of moving massive amounts of equipment for deployment or large-scale training events. The course included familiarization with air assets including a CH-47 Chinook , a UH-60 Black Hawk and a C-130 Hercules and a visit by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — National Guard Soldiers from D.C, Maryland and Virginia joined Coast Guard personnel from across the country for a Unit Movement Officer Course hosted by the Virginia Army National Guard’s G4-Defense Movement Coordination Branch Aug. 3-7, 2015, at Camp Pendleton Collective Training Center in Virginia Beach. The weeklong course prepared servicemembers for the challenges of moving massive amounts of equipment for deployment or large-scale training events.

The course included familiarization with air assets that traveled to Camp Pendleton including a CH-47 Chinook and a UH-60 Black Hawk. Students also traveled to nearby Oceana Naval Air Station where they had the opportunity to tour and fly in a C-130 Hercules.

Eleven members of the U.S. Coast Guard, from various parts of the country, also took part in the course. Including personnel from other services is vital to the training, according to Maj. Fred Moore, the Virginia Army Guard’s Defense Movement Coordinator. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Eleven members of the U.S. Coast Guard, from various parts of the country, also took part in the course. Including personnel from other services is vital to the training, according to Maj. Fred Moore, the Virginia Army Guard’s Defense Movement Coordinator. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

“It was exciting to train a joint classroom on DoD [Department of Defense] transportation, especially with our real-world C-130, Chinook, 463L pallet and UH60 events,” said 1st Lt. Michael Drabowicz, Virginia Army National Guard Defense Movement Coordinator.

The UMO acts as the representative of the transported unit commander and supervises and ensures movement training of the unit for all modes of transportations is conducted. Among other duties, a UMO prepares movement plans to support all task plans, modes of transportation, and ports of departure, coordinates and supervises marshalling and outloading of the unit, and maintains liaison with the supporting organizations and units required for the movement.

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, visited the UMO class and reminded the students how important a UMO is to a unit’s deployment. He asked the students to ensure they share their knowledge and experience with other servicemembers when they return.

Lt. Col. Michael Waterman, former commander of the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, also spoke to the students. Waterman commanded the 529th CSSB during its most recent deployment overseas and he shared his knowledge and experience with the class.

The Unit Movement Officer course included familiarization with air assets that traveled to Camp Pendleton including a CH-47 Chinook and a UH-60 Black Hawk. Students also traveled to nearby Oceana Naval Air Station where they had the opportunity to tour and fly in a C-130 Hercules. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

The Unit Movement Officer course included familiarization with air assets that traveled to Camp Pendleton including a CH-47 Chinook and a UH-60 Black Hawk. Students also traveled to nearby Oceana Naval Air Station where they had the opportunity to tour and fly in a C-130 Hercules. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Because of a number of newly-identified unit mobilizations since the Virginia Guard held its last UMO course, this class was added in order to train up and prepare personnel from deploying units, according to Master Sgt. Jeffrey Billmyer, the Virginia Army National Guard’s senior transportation NCO. For instance, the Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is preparing to mobilize in September. When they do, they will conduct their premobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas, a location Virginia Guard units have not mobilized from before

“This has been very beneficial for the compressed mobilization timeline that the 3-116th is facing, not to mention dealing with a new mobilization site in Fort Bliss,” Billmyer said. “Dealing with a compressed schedule and a new location is challenging. But overall it has turned out very well.”

“This is such valuable training for us,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Elena Smith, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment. “The UMO has a huge influence on how a deployment. They information they’ve compiled is relevant and important.”

In addition to more than 30 Virginia Guard Soldiers, one Soldier each from D.C. and Maryland participated in the course. Eleven members of the Coast Guard from various parts of the country also took part.

Including personnel from other services is vital to the training, according to Maj. Fred Moore, the Virginia Army Guard’s Defense Movement Coordinator.

“It’s great to get a different perspective on how they see us and the resources we can provide to each other,” Moore said. “The Coast Guard is an untapped resource at our disposal.”

Hosting the course at Camp Pendleton was also something new but offered several advantages.

“Camp Pendleton is the ideal location for the UMO course because of its proximity to Oceana, Fort Story, Dam Neck and the headquarters of the Coast Guard, Atlantic Area.”

National Guard Soldiers from D.C, Maryland and Virginia joined Coast Guard personnel from across the country for a Unit Movement Officer Course hosted by the Virginia Army National Guard’s Directorate of Logistics Aug. 3-7, 2015, at Camp Pendleton Collective Training Center in Virginia Beach. The weeklong course prepared servicemembers for the challenges of moving massive amounts of equipment for deployment or large-scale training events. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Latroi Ross, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)

National Guard Soldiers from D.C, Maryland and Virginia joined Coast Guard personnel from across the country for a Unit Movement Officer Course hosted by the Virginia Army National Guard’s Directorate of Logistics Aug. 3-7, 2015, at Camp Pendleton Collective Training Center in Virginia Beach. The weeklong course prepared servicemembers for the challenges of moving massive amounts of equipment for deployment or large-scale training events. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Latroi Ross, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)