By Sgt. Traci Muldoon
For The Sun
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 79th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), based at Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, walked a mile in the boots of their partners overseas by participating in an Early Entry Command Post (EECP) exercise to practice providing sustainment and logistical support to a theater during their Annual Training, June 18 to July 2, 2022. The EECP is a rapid response element of the 79th TSC’s theater logistics and sustainment planning that prepares Soldiers to provide sustainment and logistic support in a theater environment.
“The EECP gives us an opportunity for us to look at how we integrate with U.S. Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF) and Southern European Task Force-Africa (SETAF-AF) and how we integrate and communicate with them and what capabilities are needed for operations to run successfully in Morocco, Africa,” said Maj. Gen. David W. Ling, Commanding General of the 79th TSC. “For all troops participating, the EECP is an opportunity for us to get to know our partners in Africa and improve interoperability.”
Performed in a field environment to simulate real-world deployment and mission settings, logistic and sustainment needs were met through more than a dozen Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) branches during the EECP exercise. Soldiers were trained to improve proficiency for logistic and sustainment needs including signal/communications, meals, billeting and security to help staff build upon the 79th TSC’s Tactical Standard Operating Procedure.
“The importance of training in a field environment provides Soldiers with the perspective of what they would be doing to support a mission within the U.S. or overseas. Giving Soldiers an austere environment helps them improve the right skill sets needed to be successful in their MOS,” said Command Sergeant Maj. Ronald Hassler of the 79th TSC.
The EECP exercise serves as a simulation in preparing for opening theater overseas and provides a glimpse of the unit’s capabilities and areas that need improvement in the event the 79th TSC is asked to provide logistic and sustainment support on a higher level.
“Just as it is important for warfighters to know how they will be re-supplied and supported during their mission, having the support to run the EECP is also important. It is our hope that these exercises give Soldiers a sense of pride and gain an understanding of what is needed to support a theater,” said Col. Brandy Peasley, Chief of Staff of the 79th TSC.
An essential piece to preparing Soldiers for real-world missions and deployments, the EECP exercise also strengthens Soldiers individually by equipping them with training to improve their jobs skills within their MOS.
“While Soldiers have prior expertise to their MOS, expanding upon their experience during an EECP exercise gives Soldiers an opportunity to learn more about their skill set and things they didn’t already know and getting to share that experience with other Soldiers,” said Hassler.