The Fort Bliss OR-MTC team pauses briefly following a building inspection near Camp McGregor, Fort Bliss, Texas, March 10, 2021. Pictured from left to right Staff Sgt. Nefty De La Rosa, OR-MTC base camp noncommissioned officer, 1st Lt. Juan Mendoza, OR-MTC officer in charge, Master Sgt. Edward Scott, OR-MTC noncommissioned officer in charge, and Sgt. Paul Askedall II, OR-MTC base camp noncommissioned officer. The OR-MTC team is responsible for providing quality of life troop sustainment for units conducting mobilization validation certification training, and Pre-Mobilization/Exercise Training (PMET). | U.S. Army photo by Capt. Brandon Fambro
A person who would run for mayor wants to use their talents to make a difference in their community. Fort Bliss has a team of “mayors” who enjoy making a difference for individuals who arrive to prepare for deployment and redeployment by providing nourishment, lodging, and a temporary home away from home.
The Fort Bliss Operational Readiness-Mission Training Complex (OR-MTC) staff, part of the Mobilization Division, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), continues to support deploying and redeploying service members, and Department of Defense civilians and contractor amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The OR-MTC is comprised of Camp McGregor, Camp Westbrook, Camp Dona Ana and Camp Oro Grande, which provide quality of life troop sustainment for units conducting mobilization validation certification training, and Pre-Mobilization/Exercise Training (PMET).
Similar to a mayor’s cell in deployment or austere locations, the OR-MTC ensures individuals are facilitated with lodging and safety. The welfare and safety of individuals is the top priority of the OR-MTC team.
The current OR-MTC team is comprised of service members from the 647th Regional Support Group (Forward), assigned to the Fort Bliss Mobilization Brigade, Department of Defense civilians and contractors.
1st Lt. Juan Mendoza, OR-MTC officer in charge, is responsible for coordinating and managing the base camp functions, services, and all required support for units assigned facilities and billets at the base camps.
“The base camps are small training towns which meet the needs of service members during the mobilization process,” Mendoza said. “There is a chapel; dining, laundry, and latrine facilities; a shopette, and an Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facility.”
According to Mendoza, a large portion of his job is working in coordination with enterprise partners from 5th Armored Brigade, PRIDE Industries, and Tatitlek Corporation.
“Every day starts with a meeting of some sort,” said Mendoza. “I meet with the enterprise partners about providing billeting for units and with unit leadership, usually commanders and first sergeants, regarding their validation requirements.”
Providing insight for incoming units and helping them with the billeting and life support processes prior to arrival is another role for Mendoza.
“Ensuring a smooth transition during the mobilization process, which includes premobilization and post mobilization, helps keep service members morale at a high level,” said Mendoza. “I’m also initiating projects that will make the processes easier for my successors.”
The amount of time required for a unit to validate depends upon mission requirements and can range anywhere from a week to several weeks. During the validation process, units are able to provide feedback about their time at the base camp.
Master Sgt. Edward Scott, OR-MTC noncommissioned officer in charge, was previously mobilized at Fort Hood and worked in the Mobilization Deployment Operations Center (MDOC), as a shift noncommissioned officer in charge. Scott also had prior operations experiences which prepared him for his current role.
“I learn daily from the NCOs and enterprise partners who have knowledge and experience,” said Scott. “I game plan for units preparing to mobilize and have to be flexible because training schedules can change.”
Scott also is responsible for the cleanliness of the base camps, health and welfare of the units and works with liaison officers (LNOs) to help accomplish the mission.
Staff Sgt. Nefty De La Rosa, OR-MTC base camp noncommissioned officer, is part of the continuity of the OR-MTC. De La Rosa has worked at the OR-MTC for two prior years and have operational experience and knowledge.
“I manage the calendar, projecting upcoming units, and deal a lot with LNOs during the preclearing and clearing processes,” said De La Rosa. “I have to be flexible because units travel plans can change due to operations. I work in coordination with LNOs to conduct building walk-throughs prior to the units arriving on ground to ensure units have adequate housing upon arrival.”
Sgt. Paul Askedall II, also an OR-MTC base camp noncommissioned officer, enjoys the various aspects that comes along with the job.
“So far I’m enjoying the job,” said Askedall. “I learn something new daily, and if a job doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
Askedall assists with walk-throughs, reviews the service order trackers, and helps with the validation of the cleaning contracts.
The OR-MTC team follows COVID-19 mitigation and safety procedures in order to protect themselves and others. They help ensure that all service members on the base camps practice social distancing and wear face masks to prevent any delays in their mobilization process.