CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT, –
During a three-year occupation of Mosul, Iraq, ISIS terrorized tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children, while also destroying many of the city’s religious and cultural treasures, including the al-Nuri Mosque. In the fight against ISIS and the liberation of Mosul, the Army Reserve’s 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) has been spearheading the sustainment effort.
The 316th ESC, operating as the forward Operational Command Post (OCP) for the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), is serving as the single sustainment headquarters supporting all operations in the U.S. Central Command’s Area of Responsibility. The 316th, based out of Pittsburgh, Pa., deployed forward to Camp Arifjan. Kuwait in December 2016 and has been arming, fueling and feeding the warfighter in support of operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Kuwait and other countries in the USCENTCOM AOR.
Specifically, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, the 316th ESC has coordinated the delivery of more than 22 million rounds of ammunition, 7.5 million pounds of food, 3 million gallons of fuel, 1,000 vehicles, 400 million gallons of water and 13,000 weapons in support of military and humanitarian operations. Getting these vital supplies forward over the last nine months has required more than 1,200 convoys, 2,000 flights and 20 airdrops.
“The Soldiers of the Support Operations (SPO) section is proud to be participating with our Coalition partners in the battle against ISIS,” said Col. Kurt Chebatoris, officer in charge of SPO for the 316th ESC. “The logistics challenges require a total team effort across the enterprise to ensure the fight at the front, in places like Mosul and Raqqah, is logistically supported in such a manner as to ensure victory.”
Sustainment operations in the USCENTCOM AOR are also a great example of the Army’s Total Force policy. The 316th ESC, a USAR ESC, has units from all components aligned under their Command and Control, to include an Army Reserve Brigade, an Army National Guard Brigade, and an Active Component Brigade, with multiple Active, Guard and Reserve units operating in the ESC footprint.
“Total Force policy is alive and well in the USCENTCOM AOR. We could not execute sustainment operations in this theater without all three components - the US Army Reserve, the Army National Guard, and the Active Component. We are all one team!” said Brig. Gen. Robert D. Harter, commanding general of the 316th ESC, deputy commanding general of the 1st TSC-OCP.
The 369th Sustainment Brigade, a National Guard unit based in Harlem, New York City, was instrumental in executing theater sustainment in support of all operations in Kuwait, Iraq and Syria. And the 300th Sustainment Brigade (also known as Task Force Stallion), an Army Reserve unit from Grand Prairie, Texas, has the mission to assist the Iraqi Army with logistics and sustainment training.
“The Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command (CJFLCC) commander often stated that we are executing as a team of teams in our mission role supporting the Iraqi Army to defeat ISIS. Every team member is important and so is their contribution in their role as members of the team. Therefore, each individual team member made a difference in contributing to the Iraqi Army’s victory in Mosul,” as stated by Col. Gerald Gafford, commander of 300th SB.
The 300th Sustainment Brigade played a critical role in the Mosul victory. Based out of Camp Taji, near Baghdad, they trained Iraqi Army leaders and Soldiers on best practices for maintaining and fixing equipment so that it could be returned to the fight. In many cases, the 300th Soldiers worked side by side with their Iraqi counterparts, repairing weapons, Humvees and engineer equipment; this equipment was key to the Iraqi victory in Mosul.
While ISIS has been defeated in Mosul, the threat they pose remains in other areas of Iraq. The Coalition will stand side-by-side with the Iraqi government and its people until ISIS is defeated and all Iraqis are liberated and security is restored, as stated by Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force– Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).
And sustainment units, like the 316th ESC and those that follow them, will be there to ensure our coalition partners are able to Sustain the Victory!