514th Maintenance Company convoys to Speicher for command visit
February 5, 2010
CONTIGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq - Members of the 514th Maintenance Company's movement control team out of Fort Drum N.Y., went on a convoy to Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, as part of a command visit Jan.30.
The command's mission was to deliver mail for the Soldiers temporarily re-assigned to Speicher, promote a Soldier into the noncommissioned officer ranks, and tow a Humvee back to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
First Sgt. Vincent L. Autry, an Elizabethtown, N.C., native with the 514th Maint. Co., 80th Ordnance Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said the command visit served as a morale booster to the Soldiers at Speicher.
"We try to do a command visit at least once a month," said Autry. "We still have nine Soldiers here at Speicher and we like to see how they are doing, and it gives them a chance to see some of the fellow Soldiers from JBB."
Second Lt. Walter Sprengeler Jr., the convoy commander and a platoon leader with the 514th Maint. Co., said the Soldiers assigned to Speicher are part of Operation Clean Sweep and all of their mail still comes to JBB.
"Some of these guys have been waiting for more than three weeks to receive stuff they have ordered on Amazon or letters and packages from home," said Sprengeler. "They are all happy to see us because they know we have their mail, but it also gives us a chance to see what's going on here and the Soldier's well being. "
Sprengeler said they did not get to spend as much time at Speicher as they would have liked to, but next time they will make it a point to stay longer.
Autry promoted one of his Soldiers to the rank of sergeant while at COB Speicher.
Sgt. Salvador Mayoral, a test measurement and diagnostic specialist and a San Diego native, said the promotion meant a lot to him, that his hard work finally paid off.
"I was happy that first sergeant was able to pin me here today," said Mayoral. "My wife and family back home are very proud of me and I am happy that someone in my company was able to do this at Speicher."
Autry said part of the mission was to bring a Humvee from Speicher back to JBB, to be used for missions on convoys.
Autry said the extra vehicle would strengthen the unit's mission capabilities in the coming months.
Sprengeler said the mission was a success.
"We did exactly what we set out to do," said Sprengeler. "Even though we had a minor glitch in our plan, we got the job done."
One of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected-Vehicles had a mechanical error and needed to be towed to a nearby base.
"I was very happy at the way the guys recovered the vehicle so quickly," said Sprengeler. "Nobody panicked and we executed the recovery very well. It's hard to compensate for some setbacks that happen on the road, and the worst thing that happened was we lost a little time."
This was Sprengeler's first mission as a convoy commander and, in an after action review, he praised his team for the team effort it displayed outside of the wire.
"We sustained good communication throughout the mission and showed a lot of team cohesion with the recovery and it went quick and smoothly," said Sprengeler.