Provider leaders meet, discuss movement of troops, equipment in Iraq
February 9, 2010
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - The 49th Transportation Battalion out of Fort Hood, Texas, and 19 subordinate units throughout Iraq participated in a quarterly Green Tab Huddle Jan. 25 through Jan. 27 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Lt. Col. Peter M. Haas, commander of the 49th Transportation Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Fleetwood, Pa., native, said the battalion held the leadership training event to gather all movement control team commanders and detachment sergeants together to talk about relevant operational issues and conduct officer and noncommissioned officer professional development.
"The Green Tab Huddle is an important event because our battalion is dispersed throughout the entire country of Iraq," said Haas.
It is difficult to command such a widely dispersed organization, he said. To deal with this problem, the command staff and detachment sergeants go to their subordinate units or meet at JBB, he said.
The first objective of the Green Tab Huddle was ensure commanders and detachment sergeants left with a thorough understanding of the movement, and removal, of equipment and personnel in Iraq, especially as it pertains specifically to their units during the drawdown, he said.
"We briefed (the commanders and detachment sergeants) in detail on the battalions' strategic reduction plan, from now until August when the U.S. forces here have to be down to 50,000," said Haas.
Maj. John M. DiDonato, the commander of the 427th Movement Control Team out of Norristown, Pa., said this Green Tab Huddle focused on the drawdown and the consolidation of the forward operating bases. DiDonato, a Burlington, N.J., native, said not all MCTs will be replaced, some will move and finish their missions in new locations.
Haas said the second objective was to determine the best practices for their mission and leave those as part of their after action reviews for the next battalion to pick up where they left off.
DiDonato said the Green Tab Huddle was productive and the 49th Trans. Bn. did a great job of gathering all of the MCT senior leaders throughout Iraq in one location.
During a break out session, each MCT presented its best practices used during the deployment and its suggestions for improvement, he said.
"That gave a lot of us new insight to things that ... we can incorporate into our operation when we go back to our respective COBs," said DiDonato. "It's a chance for all of us to get together and decide how we can improve our operations."
Writing after action reviews, highlighting successes and areas of improvement in the meeting, creates a tangible final product for the leaders, DiDonato said.
"We ask them what was good and bad in the conference," said DiDonato.
Haas said other events held at the Green Tab Huddle consisted of training officers on career management, leadership, counseling and the corrective tools available to them and their subordinate leaders.
He said discussing the drawdown and the lessons learned from the MCTs will help with unit transitions and overall mission success.