Col. Will Freds, U.S. Army North’s Task Force 51 Chief of Staff, welcomes Soldiers from the 519th Military Police Battalion, 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade, stationed at Fort Johnson, Louisiana, after arriving to White Sand Missile Range, New Mexico, in response to an emergency deployment readiness exercise. This EDRE assess their rapid deployment capabilities and validate the U.S. Army's global readiness. This exercise also serves to evaluate installation support procedures for deploying units on short notice. (U.S. Army Photo by Bethany Huff/ARNORTH Released)

U.S. Army Units mobilize to White Sands Missile Range for Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise

Demonstrating their rapid deployment capabilities, various Army units across the continental United States quickly assembled at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, from July 9-14 to participate in an emergency deployment readiness exercise.

This exercise evaluates the units' ability to deploy quickly and efficiently, ensuring the U.S. Army's preparedness for global operations.

The units alerted and deployed included Task Force 51, U.S. Army North’s contingency command post, stationed at Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, and three 16th Military Police Brigade subordinate units: the 519th Military Police Battalion stationed at Fort Johnson, Louisiana, the 511th Military Police Company from Fort Drum, New York, and the 549th Military Police Company from Fort Stewart, Georgia.

As part of the exercise, the units deployed from their respective home stations showcased the Army's capability to mobilize forces from multiple locations and integrate at a designated training site.

“These units are always ready, and this exercise assesses their ability to rapidly respond to our nation’s needs,” said Col. Will Freds, U.S. Army North’s Task Force 51 Chief of Staff. "By deploying from their home stations, we can evaluate their mission to leverage their capabilities against any adversary quickly and seamlessly.”

White Sands Missile Range simulated a realistic and challenging operational environment to conduct the EDRE. Deploying to a remote location away from the unit’s home-station training area allows the Army to evaluate deployment processes and consider potential improvements to force projection capabilities.

"The EDRE enables us to validate our deployment procedures and ensure that we can rapidly deliver combat power to distant locations when called upon," emphasized Maj. Brian Casey, 519th Military Police Battalion’s Operations Officer. "Additionally, it allows headquarters staff at various levels and locations to train in planning, coordinating, and executing large unit movements within condensed timelines."

Jim Sykes, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Director, US Army Garrison White Sands Missile Range, said USAG WSMR provided DFMWR feeding support for the units as part of the EDRE by executing mass feeding operations at the Special Operation Forces-Training and Experimentation Center Dinning Facility while still executing food operations at the Frontier Club and Bowling Center from  July 10 to15.

“As part of the exercise and to increase synergy the ARNORTH CCP provided Liaison Officers in the Installation Emergency Operations Center managed by the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security to ensure that as a team we provided senior leaders of the installation a Common Operating Picture as events unfolded,” Sykes said. “The units that deployed here were integrated into the protection of assets as well as linked with our Directorate of Emergency Services to execute increased presence at our manned access control points and roving patrols.”

Traditionally, units that are alerted for an EDRE deploy within 96 hours. This minimal to no-notice mission allows the Army to evaluate its capability to rapidly alert, consolidate, and prepare for deployment under emergencies. The units remain deployed until they accomplish their training objectives.

“This is an incredible opportunity to leverage homeland defense capabilities, sustain continuous operations, and coordinate integrated activities across multiple echelons,” highlighted Capt. Sarah

Soliven, 549th Military Police Company commander. “The Soldiers are learning invaluable leadership lessons and are performing exceptionally to build enduring advantages for the future.”

The U.S. Army sends a clear message of its commitment to rapid deployment, force projection, and global readiness through this emergency deployment readiness exercise. By continuously refining and validating its capabilities, the Army ensures it can swiftly respond to any contingency and fulfill its mission to defend the nation's interests at home and abroad.

By Bethany Huff