82nd BSB keeps supply lines open
April 14, 2009
BAGHDAD - Soldiers serving in the field of logistics may not be clearing routes of improvised explosive devices but they are taking the fight to the enemy in a different way. Without a steady supply of food, fuel and ammunition, an army cannot sustain itself for very long.
Enter the 82nd Brigade Support Battalion who keep the supply lines open for the 3rd Bde., 82nd Airborne Division. Nearly every day, convoys move out of Forward Operating Base Hammer laden with provisions bound for various sites in and around Baghdad. The BSB, which has been in theater since December, has carried out so many logistical missions, none of them can readily recall exactly how many.
Soldiers in Company A, 82nd BSB accomplish the mission, though it is fraught with dangerous roads, long hours and near constant moving, according to Canton, Mich. native, 1st Lt. Jeff Majer, platoon leader, A Co., 82nd BSB. "It's not unusual for us to do 24 to 30 hour missions," he said. "Some of these guys have been on back-to-back-to-back missions. It's been rough on them but they get the job done."
The convoys carry a variety of materials including fuel, ammunition, food and automotive parts, according to Majer. To help shoulder the load, drivers with Kellogg, Brown and Root, Inc. are included in the convoys. "These guys help give my Soldiers a little bit of a break by taking on some of our mission," he said.
To ensure the safety of everyone involved, Co. A provides its own security detail, according to Greenwood, Fla. native, Sgt. David Washam, Co. A, 82nd BSB.
Before every mission, the Soldiers perform battle drills to keep their troop tactical procedures fresh in their minds, Washam added. Troops mount up in their vehicles and drive around the staging area to simulate convoy operations.
Soldiers of 82nd BSB face a daunting, open-ended mission but they face it with pugnacious tenacity. Because of them, Soldiers will be fed and their logistical needs met, ensuring continued operations in the 3rd Bde., 82nd Abn. Div. area of responsibility.