Johnny King, Lead Engineering Equipment Operator on Blue Grass Army Depot, runs through the motor vehicle inspection checklist as tractor-trailer units and drivers from South Dakota’s 1742nd Transportation Company arrive for Operation Patriot Press 2021.

Operation Patriot Press 2021 is an Army Materiel Command initiative joining Army Reserve and National Guard units to real-world missions for annual training in order to facilitate strategic positioning objectives.

“Operation Patriot Press has been an invaluable win-win for all involved since its inception years ago,” Maj. Gen. Lee Ellis, AMC assistant deputy to the commanding general for National Guard affairs, said. “Utilizing sustainment units in the National Guard and the Reserves to do real-world missions not only provides fantastic training, it provides Soldiers with a strong sense of accomplishment.”

Operation Patriot Press kicked off in late March. Two months later, the first rotation of support for the Joint Munitions Command began in which transportation companies moved munitions from Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky, to Crane Army Ammunition Activity, Indiana, and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Oklahoma.

This year, 25 Guard and Reserve units from across the U.S. are participating in the exercise.

These missions support Army readiness through asset realignment, storage reform, field maintenance, local and long haul freight transportation, receiving, configuring, inspecting, managing, issuing, shipping and retrograding ammunition stock.

The AMC Reserve Component Mission Support Office finds and links compatible units with suitable Army missions within AMC and its major subordinate commands. 

“This is the Super Bowl event for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve logistical community,” Maj. Patrick Martel, AMC Reserve Component Mission Support Office project officer, said.

This exercise offers real-world scalable, flexible and predictable training opportunities. During these missions, units conduct individual and collective Mission Essential Tasks, allowing units to train and become proficient in tasks critical to mission success wherever they deploy.

“Some of the recent missions involved transporting munitions 3,700 miles (round trip) for the units involved,” Ellis said. “This required the development of in-depth plans, close coordination and execution by multiple levels of sustainment commands (company, battalion and brigade) as well as depot and arsenal stakeholders. These missions had so many similarities to ones that would be required in theater.”

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