Soldiers from the 19th Engineer Battalion "ground" their gear and form up as their platoon sergeant gives them instructions for processing through Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan. The Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan from Fort Knox, Ky.

The 19th Engineer Battalion deployed to Afghanistan with less than mission-capable, or Code F maintenance-required equipment.
They are now working with a combination of new and contracted equipment as it is prepared and shipped to them by the 2nd Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Battalion.
"We have been working on getting their equipment moved since May, and we are not done yet," said Maj. Kevin G. Wooley, Third Army Mobility Air Cell.
Equipment provided in theater was reset by the 2-401st AFSB at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The 2-401st also received the equipment from the continental U.S., helped armor it and assisted in moving the equipment to the 19th Engineers.
"They coordinated shipment of radios, radio enablers and other civil engineering equipment," said Charles Nordan, logistics management specialist, Third Army Equipment Distribution Branch. "Also, the 3rd Battalion, 301st AFSB in Afghanistan is receiving and issuing equipment to the 19th Engineers as well as providing temporary CE equipment currently there."
Because the 19th Eng. Battalion has some very large pieces of equipment, that require a lot of special handling, Third Army has stepped in to assist.
Nordan said the 2-401st have over 33 pieces of equipment to repair and get to the 19th Engineers.
"And [their equipment] is very difficult to move either along the Pakistan Roads or by air," added Wooley.
Wooley added that prepparing and sorting out pieces, that will be moved via surface or air, is an issue.
That determination is based on the mission analysis by the unit and then the overall priority for the air movement by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, balanced against the availability of air frames to move the equipment based on the physical characteristics of the equipment.
"The extra level of difficulty is that after the vehicles are up armored, their dimensions have changed and we have had to work through air certification issues with almost every piece of equipment, which is already big and hard to move," said Wooley.
Third Army and its down-trace units are still working hard to fully equip and repair the 19th Engineer Battalion.
Third Army's work is helping uphold their motto; Ready Tonight, preparing the unit to be ready for the mission, sustaining the fight by supplying them with temporary equipment needed, and once they're equipped the 19th Engineers will help in shaping the future of current and upcoming operations here in theater.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16