Pennsylvania Guard convoys to California and back
Sgt. Noel Watson and Sgt. Dennis Palmer of the 1067th Transportation Company of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, review final details of a convoy briefing with a Northrup Grumman contractor prior to a Combat Logistics Patrol at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The unit, which is based in Phoenixville and Lehighton, Pa., drove 2,580 miles to Fort Irwin for their three-week annual training.

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. - Crossing 11 states and four time zones with 25 military vehicles for a total of 2,580 miles equals one successful convoy for the National Guard 1067th Transportation Company based here in Phoenixville and Lehighton, Pa.

The unit's 60 soldiers drove their camouflage freightliners -- the M915A3 -- from their armories here in Pennsylvania to the Army's National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, Calif., on July 5.

Two weeks later, they did it all over again, driving from California back to Pennsylvania. They completed their three-week annual training on July 25.

"The success of the 5,200-mile round trip convoy and the combat logistics patrols at the National Training Center stems around the mission capability of our trucks," said First Sgt. Michael I. McGinty. "Our maintenance section had our trucks in tip-top shape. Not a single vehicle had to be towed the entire (annual training)."

When they reached Fort Irwin, the transportation company immediately began running combat logistics patrols. They provided food, water, ice, construction material and repair parts to active duty Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 25th Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Fort Wainright, Alaska, who are training for a deployment to Iraq.

The Pennsylvania Guardsmen transported more than 1,800 tons of supplies through the desert to six separate forward operating bases during reconstruction and hostile activity in a theater of operations at Fort Irwin that closely resembles Iraq.

Every available soldier drove in the combat logistics patrols, and every driver -- even the newest privates -- performed the duties of convoy commander.

"This is one fine company," said Capt. Samuel A. Kieffer, the company commander. "The metrics of what these soldiers have accomplished is simply astonishing. Plus, consider the fact that there were no injuries to any soldier, not even a dent on a truck throughout the entire mission. These soldiers showed their mettle and did an amazing job."

This was the third NTC training rotation since 2005 for the 1067th Transportation Company, whose motto is "Drive Like Hell!"

Page last updated Thu August 7th, 2008 at 13:41