FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 28, 2017) — Operation Dragon, the capstone 23rd Quartermaster Brigade field training exercise for advanced individual training students, has been a daytime-only exercise for years.
That changed Sept. 18 when students resumed overnight stays during the two-day training that takes place at several training areas located off of C Avenue.
The change was made to further challenge Soldiers from an expeditionary perspective, reinforce the field skills acquired in basic training, and at the same time, build upon the basic leadership skills of students in the academy, explained Capt. Daniel O. Edomwandagbon, the acting task force commander for a restructured 23rd QM Bde. training exercise at Fort Lee.
Edomwandagbon’s reference to the academy refers to the 27 Soldiers assigned to the Logistics Noncommissioned Officer Academy who supported the training mission. The NCOs have been traditional participants in the exercise for years. Last week, they led more than 160 students through training lanes featuring several scenarios.
The added twist to the revamped exercise is an overnight stay. It’s an opportunity for students to gain “confidence, a sense of accomplishment and an understanding they need to pull security at all times regardless of the hour of the day,” said Edomwandagbon, who also serves as commander, Alpha Company, 244th QM Battalion. “They were very tired from lack of sleep and tactical marches, but they were motivated. This type of training builds true resilience.”
The first two iterations of the exercise were essentially trial runs for a continuance of the overnight training missions, said Edomwandagbon, and the brigade intends to implement lessons learned in time to optimize the benefit to Soldiers.
“The brigade is planning to continue the overnight FTX with the execution of multiple, simultaneous situational training scenarios,” he said. “Every opportunity will be used for training, and after action reviews will be conducted as the exercise goes on so Soldiers are aware of their deficiencies and are able to correct them. Future training will be rigorous and well-resourced.”
Edomwandagbon, said the support he has received from the staff and academy has been top notch. Looking forward, he is optimistic the new STX will fulfill its mission.
“I’m excited about what I’ve seen and look forward to providing Soldiers with world-class training,” he said.
The 23rd QM Bde.’s capstone training has gone through a number of changes in the past decade. For years, it was conducted as the Logistics Warrior Exercise in the area where the Ordnance Campus is now located.
It was moved to Fort A.P. Hill for a short time following the campus opening.
Proving to be a logistical challenge to conduct the training at the Caroline County installation, it was returned to Fort Lee about a year later.
Pictured above: Team members discuss route plans during the Operation Dragon capstone field training exercise Sept. 19, 2017, at the training ranges adjacent to C Avenue on Fort Lee, Va. (U.S. Army photo by T. Anthony Bell)