Operation Clean Sweep to come to Normandy
October 22, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION NORMANDY, Iraq - A reconnaissance team for Operation Clean Sweep visited Contingency Operating Location Normandy Oct. 18 to assess the movement of retrograde materials throughout Iraq.
The 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment took control of COL Normandy Sept. 9. Since then, Soldiers in the unit work to identify excess assets in preparation for the mobile redistribution teams supporting the responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops and equipment from Iraq.
"The mobile redistribution team goes out and collects up all excess assets and returns them into the supply system," said Capt. Daniel Simons, support operations planning officer with the 80th Ordnance Battalion.
"We came out here to get a picture of how big the mission is," said Simons, a Missoula, Mont., native. "For instance, how many containers of retrograde (assets) to expect, what assets they need here and what assets they have here."
Simons said units fall onto equipment or assets left from previous units, and those items may no longer be of use. The MRTs coordinate with units to relocate almost all types of excess assets taking up needed space, including scrap metal and equipment parts, said Simons. Trash is excluded, he said.
Once retrograde materials are identified, sustainment transportation movement requests are used to relocate them, said 1st Lt. Randell Krug, chief movement supervisor with the 858th Movement Control Team.
"There's so much cargo and supplies at these different places that they can't sort through it all there," said Krug, a Bad Axe, Mich., native. "So they're going to put it on a sustainment TMR, which is going to allow the 90th Sustainment Brigade to pull all that cargo from these smaller (COLs) into (Joint Base Balad) where we can organize it all."
Simons said sustainment TMRs allow the MRTs to continue moving retrograde assets until they are all removed from the base, as they require much less paperwork and allow for more time-efficient movement of the retrograde materials.
JBB serves as a central logistics hub for the smaller surrounding COLs, said Simons. Once sorted, retrograde material is either redistributed in Iraq, pushed to Afghanistan or sent to Kuwait, he said.
The MRTs are a proactive step in the responsible withdrawal of U.S. military forces in Iraq, said Sgt. 1st Class Vernon Bigham, COL Normandy mayor with the 2/3 Inf. Reg.
Bigham, a Littlestown, Penn., native, said COL Normandy will be handed over to Iraqi Security Forces when U.S. forces pull out.
"We want to turn over working, functional (COLs) to the Iraqis; the MRT is a big step," said Bigham. "They got here early, they did an assessment and we're going to push out 90 percent of our excess now."