• Sgt. Michael Chappell, a Salt Water, Okla. native, with the 68th Transportation Company, 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade straps down a humvee on a M915/M872 tractor-trailer while transporting mission essential equipment throughout Iraq at Camp Taji, Iraq, in March.

    Mannheim Sustainers return to the road again

    Sgt. Michael Chappell, a Salt Water, Okla. native, with the 68th Transportation Company, 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade straps down a humvee on a M915/M872 tractor-trailer while transporting mission essential...

  • Staff Sgt. Karenthia T. Bland with the 68th Transportation Company inspects the tie-downs of a humvee on a M915/M872 tractor-trailer during a transportation mission at Camp Taji, Iraq in March.

    Mannheim Sustainers return to the road again

    Staff Sgt. Karenthia T. Bland with the 68th Transportation Company inspects the tie-downs of a humvee on a M915/M872 tractor-trailer during a transportation mission at Camp Taji, Iraq in March.

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - The 68th Transportation Company, from Mannheim, Germany, served as a Logistics Training and Advisory Team with the mission to train, advise, and mentor the Iraqi Army's General Transport Regiment from Sept. 2008 through Feb. 2009

On March 1, the Soldiers of the 68th Trans. Co., 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade returned to doing what they do best - driving trucks.

"I liked partnering with the GTR, it was a good experience" said Pfc. Brandy Kallio, a Fayetteville, N.C. native. "I enjoyed learning about a different culture, but I am excited about returning to the road."

While their mission training the GTR has ended, they positioned the GTR for success and continuing to self-sustain their logistics and transportation operations.

The GTR, the only theater-level transportation unit in the Iraqi Army, has a tremendous task of transporting critical supplies and equipment to and from various depots, multiple ports of embarkation, and 12 location commands around Iraq.

In six month, Soldiers of the 68th Trans. Co., planned and executed a month-long exercise for the GTR to become trained and certified to conduct convoys.

The unit also taught an extensive maintenance training program, enabling the GTR to keep its fleet of more than 350 vehicles on the road.

Establishing a Driver's Training Academy (DTA), the 68th Trans. Co. Soldiers trained and licensed the GTR vehicle operators. As a result, the GTR now operates a DTA with no Coalition forces assistance. To date, the GTR DTA cadre have trained and licensed more than 100 Iraqi Soldiers on the regiment's fleet of vehicles. This is a significant accomplishment for any unit - let alone one manned entirely by Iraqi Army noncommissioned officers.

While mentoring the GTR through 50 real-world missions, the 68th Trans. Co., has shared essential technical and tactical knowledge with the Iraqi Soldiers and leaders. The GTR successfully executed more than 12,000 miles transporting more than 1,500 pieces of equipment throughout Iraq.

As the GTR's need for transporters has increased, they continue to display outstanding performance as they support Coalition forces throughout Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

Since returning to truck missions, the 68th Trans. Co. executed numerous missions supporting the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment and other customers within the Multi-National Division - Baghdad.

The 68th Trans. Co. is scheduled to re-deploy in June 2009.

Page last updated Tue April 28th, 2009 at 02:30