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NEWS | Feb. 12, 2021

Michigan National Guard helps sustain the force in DC

By Capt. Joe Legros Michigan National Guard

WASHINGTON – Soldiers with Forward Support Company, 107th Engineer Battalion, Michigan Army National Guard, arrived in the nation's capital this week to support the Michigan Army National Guard's 177th Military Police Brigade and U.S. Capitol Police in protecting critical infrastructure in Washington.

The FSC, 107th, emphasizes logistics, primarily essential tasks such as food distribution and laundry service.

"The greatest thing about being a logistician in the FSC, 107th, is demonstrating our team's ability to make things happen and rise to daily challenges," said Capt. Trevor Kay, the unit's commander.

Kay lives in Marquette with his wife and 21-month old son. He has been in the Michigan National Guard since 2014 and serves full time as the 107th Engineer Battalion training officer.

The company is responsible for food distribution, laundry services and general logistics for over 1,300 Soldiers working in the vicinity of the Capitol and Supreme Court buildings.

"Our team is ultimately responsible for the successes or failures of sustaining our maneuver element," said Kay. "Networking, adaptability, and creative thinking is decisive."

The FSC, 107th, plays an integral role in providing those support functions.

"This equates to nearly 4,400 meals distributed daily to nine different locations," said Maj. Catherine Hodges, logistics officer with the 177th MP Brigade and Joint Task Force Independence. She said the work also includes handling approximately 260 bags of laundry nightly and providing contingency water distribution for 3,000 Soldiers at three sites.

"The logistics operations tasked to us are typically the responsibility of a much larger sustainment unit," shared Kay. "However, with a national-level mission like this, we take the challenge in stride."

With a large part of the company also tasked with providing perimeter security near the Capitol, the FSC, 107th combined efforts with other units to meet the mission's ever-changing logistical needs.

"It's really just about filling the gaps," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Larsen of the Michigan Army Guard's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 156th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. "Whether personnel transportation or delivering medical supplies, we get the job done."

Larsen, who joined the Michigan Army Guard in 1996 and lives with his wife and two children in Trufant, Michigan, said he's honored to serve and enjoys helping Soldiers.

"It's great to be part of history here in Washington," he said. "This is good training that builds team cohesion for when we deploy overseas again."

Others agreed.

"It feels really good to not only feed the Soldiers, we also get to join with other Guardsmen and Capitol Police on front-line security, serving right next to them," said Sgt. Mackenzie Milliner, a cook with the FSC, 107th, who splits her time training with a military police unit in Colorado.

Kay, the company commander, said he feels his combined team has some of the hardest working and most dedicated Soldiers in Washington, and he takes great pride in what they've accomplished.

"Servicemembers come from all over the country to answer the call," said Col. Chris McKinney, commander of both the 177th MP Brigade and JTF Independence. "But it's very special when the mission involves our nation's capital."

The Michigan Army Guard is among about 6,100 Guard elements from states across the country assisting in Washington through mid-March.



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