Fort Hood’s 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command heads back to the installation from Gabon this week.

It is the first time the unit set up camp in Africa for a nearly two-week operation called Judicious Activation.

Commanding General Brigadier General Douglas McBride Jr told Channel 6 when they arrived to Gabon, they had to start the camp from scratch – food, water, fuel, and connectivity.

It is to help the sustainment command practice deploying quickly with no notice or short notice to anywhere in the world.

McBride said if a crisis happens, you are not handing out business cards.

“You’ve established those additional relationships,” McBride said. “You understand the tactics and techniques and procedures that each of the armed forces utilize.”

The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Troops trained side by side with the Gabonese Soldiers during the 10-day exercise. The training, all in preparation for any kind of crisis on the continent – a disease outbreak, earthquake, humanitarian crisis or drug cartel violence.

“From fire ranges to jungle training, to ruck marches to get acclimated to this environment,” McBride said.

Many soldiers are using to deploying to countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, but the CG tells Channel 6 with this mission, the troops are operating from the ground up.

“Build the relationships through the whole of government,” McBride said. “so working with the State Department and non-governmental agencies and the Gabonese military.”

Colonel McBride said this kind of peacetime exercise is a new concept for the U.S. Army just in the last five or six years. The mission, through U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM aims to create synergy with partners in places like Gabon.

“We are prepared for the full range of military operations because of these regional and joint coalition exercises that we do probably three or four times a year,” McBride said.

The 13th Sustainment Command was joined by other units from around the world including the 1st Brigade Combat Team from the 101st Airborne Division, Contracting Support Brigade from Italy, 35th Signal Brigade and the 405th Army Support Brigade.