From Iraq and Back
Supporting the Draw-Down of Equipment in Iraq.

The recent presidential order for the responsible draw-down of the United States Armed Forces out of Iraq has tasked transportation units across the U.S. Military to support the removal of equipment and supplies that have built up in the country since the War on Terrorism began in 2002.

The Soldiers of the 443rd Transportation Company, an Army Reserve unit based out of Lincoln, Neb., of the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, have been successfully transporting equipment from Iraq and back since their arrival here in February.

"Our missions take us all over the Iraq area of operations," said Sgt. Patrick J. Oshea, Mechanic and Recovery Vehicle Operator for the 433rd, a native of Plattsmouth, Neb. "We all know our jobs and take it very seriously so that we can complete this mission safely and successfully. Our leadership has set a high standard and we do our best to maintain that every day."

In addition to their support of the draw-down in Iraq by transporting heavy equipment out of the country, these Soldiers have also been supporting the remaining U.S. Forces there with supplies critical to the continued effort of providing a safe and secure environment for the citizens of Iraq.

"There is a lot of planning that goes into every mission," said Sgt. Wendy Courser, Mechanic and the Assistant Convoy Leader for many of the 443rd's missions up into Iraq. "We make sure all our equipment is properly maintained with Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services, and have to work with the foreign national truck drivers that drive with us and provide their security."

The Soldiers of the 443rd do approximately three missions per month that can last as many as 15 days on the roads of Iraq that sometimes take them as far north as the city of Mosul, located in the northwestern area of Iraq. Their convoys are not just made up of U.S. Forces however; they also augment their convoys with approximately 40 civilian contractors and foreign national truck drivers that aid them in transporting goods in and out of the country.

"My favorite part of this job is the great teamwork and the travel experiences. We get to see so much of this effort and meet the people we are providing for," said Courser. "Every member of the 443rd works so hard to make sure our missions are a success."

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