Providers assist with redistribution of armor assets
October 31, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION CALDWELL, Iraq - The mass movement of equipment across Iraq for units leaving and coming to the country is a complex process involving the support and coordination of various elements.
"(Third Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment) is redeploying and we're repositioning all the equipment down South for the (3rd Brigade with the 3rd Infantry Division)," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Donnie Black, a mobility warrant officer with the 49th Transportation Battalion, 90th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
The vehicles being redistributed were pushed to the Contingency Operating Locations D and E, said Black, a Sweet Water, Ala., native. There the 3/3rd ID will serve as an advisory assistance brigade in that region, he said.
To conduct the movement operations, specialized units made up of three sustainment brigades with the 13th ESC were used, said 1st Lt. Randell Krug, a chief movement supervisor with the 858th Movement Control Team with the 49th Trans. Bn. The 15th Sustainment Brigade and 96th Sustainment Brigade tasked out their heavy equipment transportation assets to move the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles from Caldwell, he said.
From the 90th Sust. Bde., inbound sustainment convoys bring supplies and leave with cargo. The 49th Trans. Bn. and their MCTs coordinate these convoys from other COLs to Caldwell.
"The complexity of the operation is due to the fact that all the cargo is not going to a single location," said Krug. "So every detail needs to be checked to make sure all the cargo goes to the right destination."
Ground operations are led by the MCTs and the 3/66 mobility advisers, who oversee the cargo, said Sgt. Sean Robbins, a movement control supervisor with the 969th MCT. The MCTs track, document and log all cargo leaving COL Caldwell, he said.
"We don't touch the cargo or move the cargo," said Robbins, a Belleville, Ill., native. "We make sure it gets onto the right trucks and goes where it's suppose to."
Robbins said the MCT in Caldwell coordinates with other MCTs overseeing inbound convoys from the other COLs. This coordination lessens the chance of congested roadways, he said.
"If the roadways have heavy traffic from passing two convoys, this will add even more time to the overall travel," said Robbins.
With coordinating the convoys, the other major task is generating the transportation movement requests to load and transport the cargo, said Krug, a Bad Axe, Mich., native.
"Whatever cargo is going, all the (serial) numbers have to match the ones on the TMRs," said Krug. "If the cargo is loaded with the wrong numbers to track it, it can get frustrated and then lost in the system.
"The trucks are loaded with what equipment we've designated to move. All trucks that come to Caldwell will leave with as much equipment as we can safely put on it. To not put something on a truck is a waste of available resource."
Managing the paperwork for the convoys and tracking the equipment they carry presents the greatest challenge, said Spc. Carl Raymer, a transport movement supervisor with the 858th MCT and a Gladwin, Mich., native.
Once the trucks are loaded, they are staged and prepared for the next leg of the mission to COLs E and D, said Raymer.
Black said there have been no major delays in the operation, or incidents with the convoy movements.