FORT CUSTER, Mich. –
More than 60 Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services military reservists and civilians from all over the world gathered June 8-23 to participate in the annual Overseas Contingency Operations Readiness Training (OCORT) at two locations in Michigan.
“The purpose of the event is to train participants on starting with an empty location, set up all your equipment quickly and effectively, perform the disposition job, for real customers, and break down all the equipment just as you would in a deployed environment,” said OCORT participant Navy Commander Bruce Laible, Officer in Charge during the training. “We should be able to set up the site and do the job anywhere around the world.”
As with past OCORTs, Fort Custer Training Center, near DLA Disposition Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan was used. This year a new location was added, about three hours north, at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, a 230 square mile Michigan National Guard location.
For the exercise, participants were deployed to “Michiganistan” and planners always try to make it as close as they could to an overseas operation.
The training consisted of 62 attendees with half of them being civilians and the other half military reservists from the Navy, Army and Air Force assigned to DLA Disposition Services.
The exercise started with bare locations at both sites. Each site started with an Expeditionary Site Set. These self contained mobile units contain office spaces, housing, torches, communication equipment and other necessary disposition equipment. It was delivered to the site with all the components to set up a fully operational disposition site. The teams tried to meet the goal of 96 hours to complete the set up.
“We try to set up everything to best accommodate the customers quickly and to best facilitate movement of equipment through the site,” said Laible.
The next phase of the training is where participants hone in on their skills to properly demilitarize property from real-world customers.
“It’s treated just like a contingency operation and the equipment that is disposed of comes from actual customers,” said Laible. “This training makes sure all involved are shown and trained on proper ways to DEMIL…best destroy the equipment that’s at the end of its life while keeping it out of the enemies hands.”
Attendees trained on disposition heavy equipments use, plasma cutters, petrogen cutters and shredders.
The training also had injects to simulate issues that may arise in a deployed environment to best equip attendees during that situation. Also, real world problems came up such as equipment failure, malfunctioning tools and extreme weather.
“When issues come up we walk through steps on how to correct them and keep working,” said Laible.
“This is great training, a good hands-on approach to doing things like we do while deployed,” said Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Leet. “I really enjoyed interacting with our civilian counterparts and learning from them, as well.”
Leet has deployed once for DLA and said OCORT was very effective training down range.
After the all the training was complete, the groups had to break down all the equipment in a safe and efficient way to be sure sure it was ready for the next group of users.
“The training is always very helpful,” said Laible. “It gives us the confidence we need to do the job and do it right.”
OCORT has been an annual exercise since 2013.