Soldiers assigned to the Main Command Post-Operations Detachment (MCP-OD) are moving into position to augment XVIII Airborne Corps as they assume the role of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in their fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
More than 70 Soldiers assigned to the Main Command Post-Operations Detachment activated last September and are now mobilizing in preparation for the upcoming deployment.
Spc. Samantha Green has been with MCP-OD since its inception May 2017 as a supply clerk and will deploy with them soon.
“It’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster, but I’m kind of looking forward to it because it will be my first time in the S4 (supply and logistics) position,” she said. “I’m kind of excited to see what kind of opportunities arise from here.”
Army Reserve Soldiers are certainly no strangers to the challenges of mobilization and the life of a citizen Soldier.
“You’ve got the single moms; you’ve got the coach, students; you’ve got the air marshals; you’ve got police officers … to come and help the XVIII Airborne Corps on this deployment to serve our country.”
“It’s a huge sacrifice,” acknowledged Lt. Col. Adam Straub, commander of the MCP-OD prior to its mobilization.
Now that MCP-OD is mobilized, they will be fully integrated into the Corps, unlike other reserve units.
The MCP-OD is different in that “it was designed to be part of the Corps staff, to integrate with us and bring us to the numbers we need,” said Lt. Col. John Ives, commander of HHBN, XVIII Abn. Corps.
The Soldiers will fill various staff sections.
“We’re kind of a non-traditional Army reserve unit,” said Straub prior to their mobilization.
Most reserve units train on the weekends, as the Soldiers are employed in their communities. Consequentially, they often don’t find out who they’re working with beforehand, let alone build relationships with them.
MCP-OD Soldiers, however, know their active duty counterparts. The emphasis on the Total Army Force requires that units like the MCP-OD are as integrated as possible with their active duty counterparts so that, once the time comes, the transition is seamless. In the case of the MCP-OD, they train with their Corps counterparts one week each month.
Green said this schedule is beneficial.
“We actually got to work alongside (active duty Corps members) prior to the mobilization, so it’s not like we’re just jumping in and you don’t know what your work experience is going to be like or if your guys are going to mesh well or not,” she said.
“Our mission is to be integrated across the XVIII Airborne Corps staff sections,” said Straub. “They’re not typically working on the weekends, so we schedule our battle assemblies from Monday to Friday … so we build those habitual relationships with the Corps staff sections that we support, and then when we’re called to mobilize, we’re already part of the team.”
In keeping with the theme of the team, Ives told the Soldiers he is “proud to serve alongside the newest members of the Corps.”
The MCP-ODs were created as a result of division and Corps headquarters reductions, said Straub. There are three MCP-ODs, one for each of the three Army Corps--I Corps , III Corps, and XVIII Abn Corps.