962nd Quartermaster enhances Lightning Forge

| November 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

Sgt. 1st Class Eric Penavargas (right) and Sgt. Dwayne Minor (left) of the 962nd Quartermaster Company, 9th Mission Support Command provide a capabilities briefing to the the 3rd IBCT S1 OIC and NCOIC. (Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Shalota Williams, Support Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade)

Capt. Etta Wheeler and Capt. Rich Diegel
196th Infantry Brigade

DILLINGHAM AIRFIELD — From Oct. 23-28, the 962nd Quartermaster (QM) Mortuary Affairs Company, under the 9th Mission Support Command (MSC), integrated unit operations with the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability (JPMRC) 18-01 Lightning Forge training exercise.

Although Lightning Forge has been conducted annually since 2014, this is the first time a U.S. Army Reserve component was successfully incorporated into the exercise to train side-by-side with active duty counterparts, using existing on-island resources to strengthen readiness and interdependency.

Sgt. Dwayne Minor from the 962nd QM Mortuary Affairs Company, 9th MSC processes a simulated deceased casualty at the 3rd IBCT Mortuary Affairs Collection Point. This training event was a series of firsts for the 962nd QM; the unit while headquartered out of Fort Shafter, has detachments located on the islands of Oahu, American Samoa, and Guam as well as another detachment based in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Shalota Williams, Support Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade)

The 196th Inf. Bde. maintains an enduring partnership with 962nd QM to include participating in the planning and execution of unit training events and pre- and post-deployment mobilization operations.

As 196th Inf. Bde. “guarantees the training success of our partners,” the capacity to augment a primarily active duty exercise like Lightning Forge with components from the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard units enhances readiness at multiple echelons while providing senior leaders an opportunity to witness firsthand the capacity of the JPMRC to train interdependently.

Furthermore, the experience gained by 962nd QM Soldiers in working with their active duty counterparts during a training exercise of this magnitude will significantly assist in the unit’s preparation for an upcoming deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

This training event was a series of firsts for the 962nd QM. The unit, while headquartered out of Fort Shafter, has detachments located on the islands of Oahu, American Samoa and Guam, as well as another detachment based in Anchorage, Alaska.

1st Lt. Obie Woods (962nd QM) stated, “This is the first time all detachments have come to one central location and the entire unit has trained together.”

In addition to executing their annual training and pre-mobilization requirements, the 962nd QM deployed to Dillingham Air Field for 72 hours to establish a Mortuary Affairs Collection Point and conduct 24 hour operations in support of 3rd IBCT training objectives.

Overall, 962nd QM deployed six Mortuary Affairs Teams consisting of five Soldiers per team and three MIRCS into the 3rd IBCT Brigade Support Area to provide simulated human remains processing for Soldiers who were assessed as killed in action or died of wounds throughout the exercise.

The 962nd QM maintained the capability to process up to 20 sets of human remains per day, established tentative identification and evacuated remains according to Army timeliness standards, all while maintaining dignity, reverence and respect.

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