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NEWS | Sept. 6, 2023

529th CSSB Soldiers endure heat, gain valuable training during JRTC rotation

By A.J. Coyne | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Approximately 60 Soldiers assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conducted Joint Readiness Training Center rotation 23-8.05 July 6 to Aug. 6, 2023, at Fort Johnson, Louisiana. Conducted in support of the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 529th was in charge of running the division support area, where they provided command and control of more than 400 National Guard Soldiers from five different units from five different states providing food, water, fuel, ammunition and other supplies.

“JRTC has been a great culminating training event,” said Lt. Col. Carlos Maldonado, commander of the 529th. “The reps and sets gained during JRTC has enhanced the unit’s understanding and capabilities of its mission essential task list. That will better prepare it for any future missions.”

The training rotation included “force on force” activities from July 16-30. During this time, leadership stressed the importance of convoys hitting their start point times, security, and communications. These three tenets of executing a convoy enabled Task Force Cavalier to provide timely logistical support to the 29th IBCT, according to Maldonado.   

Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Col. Dennis Rohler, commander of the 329th Regional Support Group, visited 529th Soldiers July 22, 2023, where they received a briefing on the mission and training opportunity. Ring also participated in a ceremony for Sgt. 1st Class John Luther, who extended his enlistment in the Virginia Army National Guard.

In addition, Maj. Gen. Michelle M. Rose, Assistant Deputy Commanding General for National Guard Affairs, U.S. Army Materiel Command, visited the 529th.  Rose, who commanded the 529th during a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010, discussed with Soldiers how AMC can improve the equipment readiness for units before, during, and after a training rotation and how AMC can help the Virginia National Guard and the 529th CSSB prepare for future deployments. Rose presented two Soldiers with coins for their outstanding performance.

During the training rotation, the 529th issued more than 16,000 MREs, delivered more than 220,000 pounds of ice, and swapped 2,000-gallon potable water tanks, known as HIPPOS, 105 times due to the record-breaking heat in Louisiana.

The 529th also moved two infantry battalions in support of air assault missions and drove 4,000 miles in and around “the box” on logistics package deliveries, personnel movements and internal resupply missions.

The support operations officer built a dynamite team that created a framework for ultimate mission success, according to Maldonado.

The Sustainment Automation Support Management Office set up Combat Service Support Very Small Aperture Terminals which powered the whole division support area, including all down trace units. This was instrumental in allowing Global Combat Support System- Army transactions to take place.

Finally, the Soldiers of the 529th supervised 24-hour shifts from the class IV and class V yard in order to support offensive and defensive operations.

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