FORT KNOX, Ky. - Recently, Fort Knox's 233rd Transportation Company supported the installation's range control with the movement of nearly 30 tanks from the Ground Maintenance Division to several ranges on post, Jan. 5-8.

The movement of tanks comes as a means of improving Fort Knox's ranges, as well as giving the 233rd Trans. Co. Soldiers experience with transporting different types of equipment.

This mission comes in preparation for the movement of Fort Knox's Patton Museum. In the movement of the Patton Museum, the 233rd Trans. Co. would have a key role in the movement of historical and heavy equipment while also receiving key operational training.

"Ultimately, this training is to prepare the 233rd Trans. Co. for what we do when deployed, and also trains us for the movement of the Patton Museum" said 1st Lt. John Ferrell, 233rd Trans. Co. executive officer and Pasadena, Calif., native. "It's all designed to work out all of the kinks and get our Soldiers back in the mindsets of executing missions again."

Home from Iraq since August 2009, Ferrell described the GMD mission as an excellent way for the 233rd Trans. Co. Soldiers to test their equipment while refreshing their skills.

By transporting the tanks, the 233rd Trans. Co. helped Range Control upgrade the post's ranges by bringing in new targets for training, and gave Soldiers an opportunity to expand their skills in loading and unloading different equipment.

According to Ferrell, the GMD missions would give the Soldiers an idea of what they could expect when moving the museum.

"Starting in February, we will begin to move equipment from the Patton Museum to Fort Benning," said Ferrell. "These GMD missions are just a small taste of what the Soldiers are going to get when we start to move the museum. This is real, live training that's going to help have our Soldiers ready when the time comes."

Ferrell explained that the GMD mission also was an excellent way of getting Soldiers accustomed to conducting long missions. With this mission, Soldiers had the opportunity to operate their equipment in a non-deployed environment, where the rules and regulations are much different.

"This mission gives our Soldiers a chance to gain experience moving this type of equipment, and prepare for any upcoming missions," said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Wolfe, 233rd Trans. Co. truck master. "It also gives us the opportunity to test our equipment to find any faults, and build on any improvements."

Wolfe, who works closely with the Soldiers conducting the GMD mission, explained the exercise as being a valuable experience. He referred to the mission as a way for 233rd Trans. Co. Soldiers to get re-familiar with their equipment while getting a chance to assess the equipment that stayed behind while they were in Iraq.

Overall, Ferrell said feedback from the Soldiers, as well as leadership has been positive for the GMD mission, even though progress was slowed by weather issues. He said the command is pleased with the work their Soldiers have done on these missions, and looks forward to a successful mission in moving the Patton Museum to Fort Benning.

"So far, the GMD missions have been going very well for our Soldiers," said Ferrell. "For our Soldiers, it's the small skills that we find to be perishable. So doing these missions not only help the leadership, but also the individual Soldier as it helps him/her remember the little things that can have an impact on the overall mission."

Photos and story by Spc. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16