Va. Guard team helps units, equipment load out

Approximately 150 Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat team board C-130s May 12, 2014, headed to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where the Soldiers will participate in a warfighter exercise. The Soldiers departed for the two-week exercise from the Shenandoah Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, Va., and were assisted by members of the Virginia National Guard’s Movement Control Team, a logistics team that assists in the movement of deploying troops and equipment. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Approximately 150 Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat team board C-130s May 12, 2014, headed to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where the Soldiers will participate in a warfighter exercise. The Soldiers departed for the two-week exercise from the Shenandoah Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, Va., and were assisted by members of the Virginia National Guard’s Movement Control Team, a logistics team that assists in the movement of deploying troops and equipment. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

WEYERS CAVE, Va. – Nearly 200 Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team loaded their gear and themselves onto three C-130s May 12, 2014, and headed to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for a warfighter exercise. The Virginia National Guard’s Movement Control Team, a logistics team that assists in the movement of deploying troops and equipment, was on hand to assist with the movement.

“The Movement Control Team operates under the Defense Movement Coordination Cell. Their sole mission is to operate out of transportation hubs performing liaison duties,” explained Maj. Fred Moore, Virginia Guard defense movement coordinator. “Our team specializes in logistics, communications, administration, and even repair-maintenance subject-matter-experts. As Soldiers depart for domestic or foreign missions the State has specialists to assist them with the transition to active duty.”

The Movement Control Team can support deployments both stateside and overseas and they typically begin planning for a unit movement months ahead of the deployment.

“As a unit prepares their unit movement plan, they decide how they want to go to a place, whether plans, trains or automobiles,” said Moore. “If they opt for a military option, like with the Air Guard, we put in the air movement requests and work through the details of that.”

The MCT is also equipped to set up a Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration, or JRSOI, site as well, to assist with administrative needs like in-processing.

For the 116th IBCT movement to Kansas, the MCT worked with the unit and the Air National Guard to coordinate the flights, both to Kansas as well as their return flights. They were on hand at the Shenandoah Regional Airport the day the unit left as well, prepared to assist with the movement as needed and ensuring the load up went smoothly.

“The unit can concentrate on what they need to do to get out the door and we can handle the logistical aspects of their support,” said Sgt. Maj. Harold Stone, the Joint Force Headquarters logistics sergeant major.

The warfighter exercise virtually simulates a combat environment and is designed to test unit staff on the military decision making process and is just one part of increasing the unit’s readiness under the Army Force Generation model. The exercise takes place at the Mission Training Complex at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., a training facility equipped to handle division-level warfighters. It is specifically designed for warfighting exercises and boasts 60,000 square feet of indoor training space.

Photos: 116th IBCT head to Kansas for warfighter exercise – May 12, 2014