JOINT REGION MARIANAS, Guam –
A team of U.S. Navy Sailors and Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services civilians recently completed a two-week Contingency Overseas Readiness Exercise on the Pacific island of Guam.
COREX’s goal was to demonstrate DLA Disposition Services’ ability to support the military in a forward position by a team of military and civilian logistic professionals with the Expeditionary Site Set equipment prepositioned in Guam.
The team was able to deploy the ESS but challenges with some of the equipment began to present themselves.
The COREX team worked through some of the equipment issues as they took in excess property from military customers, including the USNS Tippecanoe who disposed of unserviceable equipment with the team.
“The successful deployment of our ESS kits proved that we can support any and all customers throughout the first and second island chain within the Indo-Pacific theater,” said Navy Cmdr. Dustin Freeman, officer in charge of COREX’ 21 “B Team” in Guam.
Even as the COREX team adapted and found ways to continue the mission, issues with the ESS equipment continued to mount, making it necessary to take a hard look at the effectiveness of the exercise.
“We had many obstacles that they were able to overcome,” said Army Col. Fran Taylor DLA Disposition Services Deputy Director of the team during her visit to the exercise site, adding that there were too many roadblocks which lead to a realignment of the team’s mission with a shift in needed support at the permeant site.
“We gave them a change of mission and turned them into a red [Tiger] team,” Taylor said. “Now, that still exercises the members of the team so that they can get the benefit of the training while utilizing actual property and still assisting the Guam DS team here on the ground.”
Exercises such as COREX provides the training reservist need to prepare them to support customers for a disposal mission, not working in a warehouse where property is stored and offered for other customers to screen and requisition for their command’s use.
While the civilian members of the COREX team work full-time for DLA Disposition Services, the reservist have a wide range of careers including, a middle school teacher, small business owner and mental health professional.
“They provided absolutely awesome support to DLA DS Guam team and it was greatly appreciated,” said Norma Quitugua operations supervisor at the Guam site.
According to Navy Logistics Specialist Chief Lance Wentworth this was a new experience for some of his Sailors.
Wentworth was the senior enlisted leader for COREX and he knew some of his people did not have experience with the Distribution Standard System that DLA Disposition Services uses.
“We had a couple of Sailors who had no training with DLA and one of the Sailors really jumped in and learned the DSS really quick,” Wentworth said.
That Sailor the shared his newly acquired skills with two others that had no experience with the program either Wentworth added.
DLA Disposition Service Director Mike Cannon said at the start of COREX he wanted to make this as real world as possible and Wentworth said that was accomplished.
“What happened here is really what you see when you deploy,” Wentworth said. “What you will see in country, but not at all one time, these things happen over a six month tour, a nine month tour. But everything that happened took place in five days. So they experienced a short version of a deployment with everything that can go wrong.”
In the end Wentworth said his Sailors learned a lot on this exercise and it reinforced what he tells them. “Plans change, be flexible or as their running joke puts it, Semper Gumby, Always Flexible.”