May 8, 2008

1030th Transportation conducts first-ever JRSOI at Fort Pickett

By Sgt. Jesse L. Houk
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

Sgt. 1st Class Reginald Dyckman of the 1030th Transportation Battalion assists a Soldier update his records as he participates in the JRSOI training May 4- 6 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. Jesse L. Houk, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. Soldiers from the Gate City-based 1030th Transportation Battalion worked in cooperation with Headquarters, 329th Regional Support Group to conduct the Virginia Guard’s first-ever Reception, Staging, Onward movement and Integration (RSOI) exercise May 4 - 6 at Fort Pickett.

The exercise was designed to simulate the arrival of forces from outside of the state responding to a large scale event. 

RSOI is a complex multi-phase exercise conducted to train, test, and demonstrate force projection and deployment capability. It is a medium scale war fighting CPX (Command Post Exercise) with focus on the process of strategic deployment.

In the case of Virginia, it is a preparation for the force projection of both public agencies within and outside the Commonwealth in response to either natural or manmade originated disasters. It provides a single projection platform for the receipt and preparation of individuals arriving in response to a disaster in order to prepare them to execute an integrated and seamless response.

In the case of the three-day exercise in May, Soldiers of the HHC, 1030th Trans. Bn., assisted roughly 325 Soldiers. Each Soldier filed through the building as they were assisted at eight different stations. The stations included Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, records check, pay, medical, legal, identification cards, supply, and quality control.

An RSOI exercise also provides the Virginia Army National Guard additional benefits beyond force projection.

“It’s also an excellent opportunity to take care of soldiers,” said Maj. Geoffrey R. O’Neill, executive officer of 1030th Trans. Bn. “What better time to mass all the Soldiers and cover down on every potential issue that might negatively impact the units.”

The framework for the exercise began to develop in a staff training exercise that took place last year called Vigilant Guard.  There was a need to be better prepared for mobilizations due to the possibility of natural disasters or other emergencies. RSOI became the solution to that potential problem.

“The training is being done to prevent problems that may have occurred in the past,” Sgt. 1st Class Carol A. Masters, senior human resources sergeant said. “It’s advantageous to us because RSOI allows us to have our records up to date.”

“RSOI is about getting an assessment on where you stand with the Army,” said 1st Lt. Jezmon A. Lewis, commander of 3647th Maintenance Company from Blackstone, as he and his Soldiers went through the training. “This will streamline the process of being deployed because it identifies the problem before an actual SRP.”

One might expect a first-time training event to be plagued with complications or certain issues that need to be ironed out. But the thorough preparation through the Vigilant Guard training, the leadership provided by senior NCO’s and officers, and the professionalism of the Soldiers in HHD, in the words of Masters “kept them operating like a greased wheel.”

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