Soldiers from the 518th Human Resource Company, 82nd Special Troops Battalion, conducted a two-week course on postal operations at the Post Office Training Facility, April 27.
Human Resources Operations Branch facilitated the training when the 518th HRC were unable to attend the Silver Scimitar course conducted by Army Reserve units at Fort Devens, Mass. The Silver Scimitar course is the Army’s annual training exercise for human resource professionals to prepare for their wartime missions.
“We needed to make sure we had a refresher course and everybody had the basics of postal operations,” said 1st Lt. Blossom Jefferson, postal platoon leader, and Washington D.C. native.
Individuals within the unit who attended the five-week postal operations course at Fort Jackson, S.C., have received the additional skill identifier of F5 which gave the deploying Soldiers their annual requirement as well as nonqualified Soldiers on postal operation systems. Soldiers learned about the automated military postal system, postal supply system, postal supply, and regulations governing their work.
“I definitely learned a lot of things that I didn’t know before I took the course,” said Spc. Jessica Lobaugh, a recent human resources information specialist, and Sanford, N.C., native. “They definitely knew what they were doing and what they were talking about.”
“It teaches you how to set up a post office, how to tear down a post office, and how to run it day-to-day,” said Staff Sgt. Nykea Perry, postal supervisor with 518th HRC. “We used people who had just come back from Iraq to help teach the classes. I think they got a good idea of how it is going to be downrange.”
Soldiers focused on the military post office systems they would be using in Iraq during the first week of training. They used this knowledge during their second week of training with hands-on scenarios in a mock post office.
“My favorite part of the course was working with the postal system consisting of the monitor, the labels and the scale,” said Lobaugh.
“I think the training was very beneficial and the Soldiers got a lot out of the training,” said Jefferson. “HROB did an outstanding job to come up with an alternate plan since we weren’t able to make Silver Scimitar.”
After the two-week course consisting of various systems and scenarios, 518th HRC Soldiers can now deploy with more experience and knowledge to ensure Soldiers’ packages sent from combat zones get home safely.