173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Abn) Soldiers measure a vehicle in preparation for a convoy. This work was part of an Installation Staging Area process exercise held at USAG Italy on July 24 to improve the interoperability between Italian and American workforce to prepare military equipment for deployment on short notice.Photo by Graigg Faggionato, 7th Army Training Command (Photo Credit: Graigg Faggionato)

VICENZA, Italy: U.S. and Italian partners at U.S. Army Garrison Italy improved their skills in readying deployable units, specifically the 173rd Airborne Brigade for rapid deployment from south of the Alps during a recent Installation Staging Area Proof of Principle exercise.

The exercise took place at USAG Italy’s Caserma Del Din and involved Soldiers and civilians from Logistics Readiness Center- Italy, the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) and USAG Italy.

“We developed a very deliberate training plan in order to ensure that this training event was successful and improved interoperability,” said Alexander G. Menzies, director of LRC-Italy, 405th Army Field Support Brigade – Europe and Africa. “The purpose of this first ever training was to validate our processes and procedures for deploying the 173rd rapidly, train and improve interoperability within LRC-Italy and other units involved, and to identify areas that need improvements.”

More than 20 Soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and 20 other U.S. and Italian civilians of the USAG Italy workforce supported different phases of the deployment exercise.

“The cooperation between all participating units was great and we expected that all along,” said Menzies.

The first phase of the deployment process was preparing vehicles and equipment. Then the following step consisted of overseeing a half-dozen vehicles, such as Humvees, fuel tankers and trucks, through the four of seven ISA stations. These included vehicle inspection, weights and measures; quality assurance and quality control. The Chief of Plans and Operations Division, Ms. Chanteen Violette, had overall operational control.

Terry Moren, LRC-Italy senior logistic plans officer, 405th AFSB, who was coordinating between the brigade, garrison and movement control professionals involved in the exercise said this was the first time in several years one like this was attempted. Regulations and procedures under U.S. Army Europe do change and all the actions need to be executed properly and on time.

“Christian Birney, program analyst for the 405th AFSB, helped everyone by leading them through the Military Decision Making Process to make sure support to the Vicenza Military Community is professional and timely where we can, effectively and efficiently deploy combat units on very short notice from northern Italy,” said Moren.

Soldiers from Alpha Company, Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade worked the weights and measures station. Alpha company would be responsible for all transportation tasks during a deployment.

“These Soldiers had a big impact on the execution of the event and in a real life Alpha Company would play a big part in pushing the brigade out,” remarked 1st Lt. Christopher Venetz, Maintenance Control Officer, Bravo Company, 173rd Brigade Support Battalion.

An After Action Report (AAR) on each of the vehicles was conducted to highlight the status of vehicles and any repairs or service they might need.

“Most vehicles would be ready; for the most part they should be ready anytime. If they need extensive maintenance they would go back to the motor pool,” Moren said. “I think that at the end of this exercise, everyone was pleased with our support. We know that LRC will be ready for a deployment. The garrison representatives who were here were also satisfied with our performance,” he added.

Moren said exercises like these won’t be scheduled so far apart in the future.

“We’ll be ready to go, as soon as we get feedback from our senior leaders and we’ll work on adjustments as necessary. By improving interoperability and developing proper resources there will be no hesitation in accomplishing any mission, anytime, anywhere,” said Moren.