USARPAC CCP builds muscle memory
October 28, 2010
Story and Photos by Staff Sgt. Crista Yazzie,
U.S. Army-Pacific Contingency Command Post Public Affairs
Sgt. Kevin Blankenship, USARPAC HSC, works with fellow Soldiers to assemble tents at the field training site of the CCP's validation exercise, to provide shelter for Soldiers during the 24-hour training.
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — Muscle memory is a term used often by Soldiers, referring not necessarily to literal muscles, but rather to a widely understood concept applied to training.
The U.S. Army-Pacific Contingency Command Post, the quick reaction command and control headquarters unit of the Pacific, recently exercised this muscle memory during its Validation Exercise, here, Oct. 12-29.
“Repetition builds proficiency, that’s a fundamental tenant of anything we do in the Army,” said Maj. Keegan Leonard, aviations operations chief and deputy chief of operations for USARPAC CCP’s Deployable Assessment Team. “This event shows the culmination of the muscle movements we’ve been practicing for over a year.”
CCP has been training to become fully operational capable, since August 2009, conducting a number of exercises and testing various ways of setting up and establishing a self-sustaining command center in a short amount of time.
The CCP’s goal is to become fully operational capable during Exercise Balikatan 11, a combined exercise conducted annually in the Philippines.
“We have portable communications, some sparse tentage and power generation, so the idea is that (when we) can get there, (we can) set up a warm base of operations and have immediate conversations with the tactical operations center back here in Hawaii,” Leonard said. “Ultimately, we want to see how quickly we can be up and running as a viable function for the USARPAC commander.”
The CCP is a small entity with 96 personnel and 73 different job specialties represented.
Sgt. 1st Class Hargis Fulton, USARPAC CCP, guides a forklift operator during the USARPAC CCP validation exercise.
“This organization is the first I’ve been in that is so top heavy with senior noncommissioned officers and field grade officers. Normally you’ve got a lot of junior enlisted that do the work of setting up,” Leonard said, “but here at the CCP, we just pitch in and everyone does a job.”
USARPAC’s Headquarters Support Company provided all the life support to the command post during the exercise.
“We take care of everything from force protection, power generation, fuel support … all the food, water and any of the behind-the-scenes support that you can imagine,” said Capt. Gregory Edgreen, commander, USARPAC HSC. “We had everyone from our colonels to sergeants major putting up tents, running power cables … carrying fuel cans and setting up concertina wire. It was a true team effort.”
The first few days of the exercise was conducted as a 24-hour operation to test the amount of set-up time needed.
“The iterations we’ve gone through have made us better, so we’ve greatly reduced our set-up time,” Leonard said. “Because we exercise our communications capabilities on a routine basis, we were able to show up here, get our communications up and running, and provide that footprint for the CCP.”
“This was my first time handling this equipment, but it went smoothly, and I was confident getting it up and running due to the training I received prior to the exercise,” said Sgt. Lauren Hart, an information systems technician and the advanced team’s communications NCO, who set up the satellite communications within 30 minutes.
“I am impressed with the amount of teamwork that has been displayed with HSC, CCP and all of our attachments,” said Edgreen. “We all have one mission, one cause, and we’ve been working extremely well together. We hope to leverage these relationships as we move forward to Balikatan 11.”