FORT DRUM, N.Y. –
As more than 2,500 Soldiers assigned to the New Jersey Army National Guard’s 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team embarked on their three-week long eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise, it wasn’t without support from the Virginia National Guard.
Since arriving at Fort Drum July 10, 2022, the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group has been providing wheeled-vehicle recovery and maintenance support as well as more specialized trade support such as generator, armament, and HVAC maintenance to the 44th IBCT during the training rotation.
Working with the New Jersey National Guard is mutually beneficial, according to Capt. Alec Hulbert, the 3647th company commander.
“So far, the experience working with the New Jersey National Guard has been good,” said Hulbert. “They've been coordinating and planning for this exercise for a long time, and they've kept us well-informed throughout the process. We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with other National Guard units from other states. Any chance for our Soldiers to learn from their peers and put their skills to work is a win for us.”
One new thing the company will be working with is the Modular Catastrophic Recovery System, which will help recover catastrophically-damaged equipment in an expeditious manner, especially in combatant environments.
“It’s been great, everyone is out here training and learning new things,” said Sgt. Jeffrey Sabatino.
After eight years on active duty, Sabatino came to the National Guard out of a sense of duty but also because of the professional development and educational opportunities available in order to enhance his skill set.
“The reason I serve is a dedication thing,” said Sabatino. “I served eight years on active duty and wanted to continue my service and my trade, so the National Guard has been the way to go, and I have my GI Bill from active duty and all around it all helps me be a better mechanic.”
In addition to the 3647th Maintenance Co., the Cedar Bluff-based 1033rd Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th RSG has also joined the exercise, making two companies from Virginia and one battalion from Massachusetts supporting the 44th’s XCTC, which enables brigade combat teams to achieve the trained platoon readiness necessary to deploy, fight, and win. The latter is the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team out of Worcester, Mass.
Such collaboration between states is just another example of the many strengths of the Army National Guard and exemplifies commitment to the “one team, one fight” concept.