Installation prepares for rapid-deployment push Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 February 2013
 
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Spc. Teresa Sadar, a construction equipment repairer assigned to the 103rd Engineer Company, issues a Soldier Readiness Processing packet to a Soldier at the SRP site.
Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Denby
Special to GUIDON

More than 100 Soldiers of the 103rd Engineer Company, 94th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, lined Constitution Avenue on Jan. 28 with equipment and vehicles staged in preparation of rapid-deployment to a domestic, catastrophic incident requiring a presidential declaration for federal response within the continental U.S.

This was a test. This preparation was part of a Joint Task Force – Civil Support Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Response Force Deployment Readiness Exercise.  

“The rapid deployment of a horizontal engineer company provides civilian incident commanders with a powerful tool during disaster response missions,” said Maj. Frank Tedeschi, 94th Engineer Bn. training and operations officer. “The collaboration between the installation and the 4th MEB, during this exercise,was exceptional and sets the standard for the deployment of any military capability from Fort Leonard Wood in the future.”

During the exercise, Fort Leonard Wood personnel assigned to the DCRF mission were notified of a notional incident that required immediate response of specialized teams, such as the heavy construction equipment operators assigned to the 103rd Engineer Co.

These Soldiers, when ordered, will deploy in support of state and local authorities in response to a CBRN or natural disaster to expedite recovery and mitigate loss of human lives.

But the rapid deployment of a company-sized element requires the support of several other agencies from across the installation who aid in the Soldier readiness process.

“It was an honor to coordinate the installation’s support for this exercise,” said Cherie Pinkston, installation readiness specialist. “All Fort Leonard Wood agencies and directorates worked together to construct upon lessons learned so that we are ready to answer our Nation’s call to support our Soldiers, anytime, and all the time.”   

Upon notification of the notional incident, Soldiers prepared all military vehicles for transport to the incident site and the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security provided privately-owned vehicle storage for single Soldiers.

Soldiers were then bused to a Soldier Readiness Processing site where the Directorate of Human Resources provided personnel to ensure that all Soldiers were prepared for the deployment by validating medical, dental, legal and personnel records.

Finally, all equipment was inspected by the 4th MEB safety office and the Directorate of Logistics for predetermined load plans.

With personal vehicles stored, bags packed, personnel records and equipment inspected, Soldiers were notified that the exercise would end prior to the shipment of any items off base.

The 94th Engineer Bn. training and operations officer says that they are prepared to go, at any time.

“Our Soldiers will assure mobility through any disaster site, just like they do on the battlefield, allowing critical civilian and military capabilities to be at the right place, at the right time to save lives and decrease human suffering,” Tedeschi said.

The 103rd Engineer Co. and supporting agencies will continue to refine the rapid deployment process with more exercises slated in the future.

(Editor’s note: Denby is a photojournalist assigned to the 4th MEB Public Affairs Office.)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 February 2013 )