Being expeditionary means being prepared to deploy or maneuver world-wide, at a moment’s notice, in support of the warfighter. For the Soldiers of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, their longstanding motto, “always ready,” is something they live by and use to be prepared for any mission, at any time and in any place.

The sustainers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th ESC, continue to prepare in order to support DEFENDER – Europe 20 throughout Europe.

DEFENDER – Europe 20 is a joint, multinational training exercise scheduled to take place from April to late May, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020.

Even before DEFENDER – Europe 20 was officially announced in October, the sustainers of the 13th ESC trained meticulously to support operations and missions worldwide.

Early last year, Warfighter Exercises 19-3 and 19-4 were two of the exercises the 13th ESC was involved with, and Lt. Col. Gilberto Escobedo, 13th ESC’s deputy plans officer in charge, recalls how they better prepared the unit for the upcoming training exercise.

“The exercises allowed the 13th ESC to maintain proficiency in managing logistics support, directing theater distribution and actions associated with force projection,” Escobedo said. “WFX 19-4 offered us the opportunity to exercise the staff’s ability to conduct the military decision-making processes to synchronize all warfighting functions, shape deep operations and provide responsive sustainment across multiple mission command node structures.”

The 13th ESC will assist in moving the flux of forces in, around, and eventually out of the Eastern European region, in addition to conducting logistical support throughout the exercise. Although the headquarters will operate out of central Poland, the logistical requirements will extend to the ally and partner nations across the region.

The Wolfpack will be depended on to provide mission command of sustainment operations in the joint operations area during DEFENDER – Europe 20. In such a robust operating area, Soldiers and leaders will be spread out throughout the JOA, which makes communication key.

In order to plan the best communications practices for the upcoming exercise, Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Demming, the 13th ESC’s communications shop noncommissioned officer-in-charge, conducted a communications exercise Dec. 2-6.

“The purpose of the COMMEX was to allow us to validate the configurations of our communications systems and verify their operational status prior to supporting the mission,” Demming said. “This enhanced our mission command by ensuring the 13th ESC has the ability to deliver expeditionary sustainment support to the warfighter, regardless of their location.”

Another critical factor for HHC, 13th ESC, during DEFENDER – Europe 20 will be their ability to deploy to an austere environment and set up an early entry command post.

Capt. Jamie Abel, HHC, 13th ESC commander, knew the EECP was crucial and made it a priority for them.

“Our primary training objective was to rehearse on the deployment of the EECP with the new mobile Berg containers,” Abel explained. “The Berg container operationalizes our ability to deploy quickly and extend mission command to our sustainers in the fight.”

As vehicles and equipment begin the process of being transported in support of DEFENDER – Europe 20 and preparations continue, the first wave of Soldiers will deploy to Eastern Europe in February.

As the exercise draws closer, Abel looks forward to seeing what the Wolfpack will accomplish in Europe.

“I look forward to seeing our new Soldiers and the ESC veterans getting the opportunity to test our ability to deploy and work alongside our NATO partners,” Abel said. “We will train with our best equipment, test our supply and maintenance systems and return home ready for our next mission.”