Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania – Eleven months of planning, three multinational planning conferences and four site surveys went into sustainment infrastructure for Jackal Stone 2011 (JS 11), a multinational Special Operations Forces exercise held in September 2011 in Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria. The U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) led and coordinated the annual exercise.
As the lead sustainment entity, SOCEUR J4 harnessed the knowledge and resources of each host nation to successfully establish the transportation and logistical backbone for JS 11, said U.S. Army Maj. Casey Bradford, SOCEUR’s J4 planner.
JS 11 comprised 1,350 participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungry, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Poland, Ukraine and the United States. The exercise is designed to improve partnership and interoperability amongst the partner nations.
Support from the EUCOM JLOC, Defense Logistics Agency and Branch Movement Control Teams from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command enabled SOCUER to emplace critical classes of supply and equipment at each location, Bradford said.
Notably, the 624th Contingency Contracting Team (CCT), of the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion (CCB) from the 409th Contract Support Brigade in U.S. Army Europe provided keystone support in the planning and execution of sustainment operations, he said.
The 624th CCT consisted of Maj. Kenneth Darnall, Maj. Jessica Kovach, Sgt. 1st Class Igor Paustovski and Sgt. 1st Class Amelia Bryant.
“Their expertise and know-how were immediately evident as they coordinated with SOCEUR during the initial site survey and thereafter for all subsequent planning conferences and surveys,” Bradford said. “Sergeant First Class Paustovski personally helped developed the contracting support plan at each of the 12 locations while his team was split between competing missions. He smoothly integrated with the host nation sustainment planners and identified gaps in capabilities that could be mitigated via contracting support.”
The 624th CCT collectively consolidated all contracting requirements and established food services, life support, transportation, aviation and ground fuel for all participants.
JS11 consisted of a Coalition Joint Special Operations Component Command (CJFSOCC) and a Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component (CJSOAC) in Constanta, Romania and three Special Operations Task Groups spread across the three nations.
The footprint of Jackal Stone required logistical support at 12 locations, including six aerial ports of debarkation and three opposition-force (OPFOR) villages.
According to Bradford, the success of JS 11’s contracting and sustainment operations were evident in three areas:
- Upon receipt of the assignment from the 903d CCB, Darnall’s team immediately integrated with SOCEUR for the duration of the Joint Exercise Life Cycle. The 624th CCT conducted first bi-monthly and then weekly conferences with SOCEUR J4 planners to ensure all contractual requirements were met.
- The 624th provided subject-matter expertise to SOCEUR and partner-nation personnel to mitigate gaps in sustainment capabilities through operational contracting support.
- The 624th CCT embedded with SOCEUR logisticians at all locations during the execution of JS 11, providing direct support to the warfighters on the ground. Darnall’s team and the SOCEUR Support Operations Team conducted early-entry sustainment and operational contracting support prior to the arrival of any exercise participants. This co-location of personnel enhanced productive working relationships, which not only mitigated shortfalls before they affected the mission of the CJFSOCC but also provided synergy in effort between logisticians and contractors.
“Jackal Stone 2011 will be remembered as not only a benchmark of how to conduct multinational SOF operations under a NATO framework, but also as a success story of integrating logistics and contracting personnel during the Joint Exercise Life Cycle,” Bradford said. “The professionals in USAREUR’s 409th Contract Support Brigade continue to masterfully support Special Operations Command Europe, whether during Joint Chiefs of Staff exercises or contingency operations.
“The personal and professional relationships built during Jackal Stone 11 will further enhance success for both organizations in future missions.”