|With any military mission, there are those who work behind the scenes to ensure servicemembers are well cared for and adequately trained. Army Major David Williams is one such officer who has served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Williams deployed to Iraq in February 2007 as the Multi-National Corps-Iraq plans liaison officer and as a 3rd Infantry Division planner. He worked diligently to not only support U.S. soldiers but also coalition forces serving under the 3rd Infantry Division. |
The fact that this was his second tour may have helped prepare him for the multiple tests that lay ahead. He deployed six months earlier than expected and was given less than a week's notice.
“I was the deputy of the original team responsible for establishing the Division's headquarters facility and life support area at Camp Victory,” explained Williams. “The life support area was basically a camp of tents, trailers, bathrooms, support buildings, etc. to support soldiers in the division.” Soldiers could escape, relax, and reenergize for short moments when they entered the support stations that Williams established.
Although the morale of U.S. soldiers abroad rely heavily upon support stations, Williams said his actions “benefited the coalition soldiers more than the soldiers within the 3rd ID.” He recognized the long-term value of strong coalition forces. Thus, he pushed for additional safety equipment and technology. He also requested a Post Exchange and other mechanisms to support the coalition soldiers.
Shortly following his efforts at Camp Victory, he became the director for the 3rd Georgian Brigade's Command Post Exercise, a training exercise with the goal of command and control over operations during mission execution.
He planned and conducted the first Command Post Exercise in a former Russia Republic. Being the pilot planner and executer for the 1st and 3rd Georgian Brigades' exercise was not an easy undertaking. Nevertheless, he excelled by also setting up training events for El Salvadorians, Kazakhs, and Lithuanians.
His most challenging task was “equipping the Republic of Georgia Brigades basically from scratch” to properly prepare them for combat in Iraq.
Williams developed Command Post Exercise training scenarios that the brigades would likely encounter as a battle space owning unit in Wasit Province. His knowledge of the ground situation and his creativity allowed him to develop meaningful and realistic events.
“I was responsible for designing their training in Kuwait and their rotation into Iraq,” explained Williams.
With any mission involving multiple countries, planners must consider the language factor. “I ensured all standard operating procedures, report formats, and policies were translated in to Georgian to facilitate their successful integration upon arrival in Iraq.”
As part of his planning role, Williams also participated in the expansion of compounds in two provinces – Karbala and Najaf – to help facilitate the State Department's Provincial Reconstruction Team's mission. For his multiple roles and accomplishments, Williams was awarded the Bronze Star.