FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, started staging and loading their tactical vehicles and equipment at the Division Rapid Reaction Field and Rail Operations Center, July 28, in preparation for deployment to Iraq.

The process included conducting maintenance checks, loading of vehicles, and preparing them to be transported overseas.

DRRF operations prepare equipment for shipment by rail and commercial trucks to a port where they will eventually be loaded onto ships for transportation to Kuwait and then into Iraq. The process ensures the vehicles and equipment will be able to be used immediately when troopers arrive in Iraq later this fall.

"We inspect the fuel level, making sure there are no major leaks and that the vehicle is in good running order before we load them onto the train," said Staff Sgt. Seth McPherson, an engineer assigned to 4th Special Troops Battalion.

Before the Soldiers can begin to load their vehicles onto the rail, they go through two safety briefings with constant safety reminders throughout the operation.

"Our number one focus is safety," said 1st Lt. Chris Sanchez, the battalion assistant planner for the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. "There are vehicles moving onto the rail car and we must make sure everyone is paying attention to safety at all times."

While staying hydrated, troopers worked to make sure all of their essential equipment was loaded safely and the task was completed in accordance with the standards set by the command.

"I'm here to assist the unit to get our equipment down range for a successful mission," said Pvt. Tyler Mackey, an infantryman assigned to the 2-7 Cav. "I feel proud to be helping out and I'm excited and ready to go do what we've been training for."

The brigade is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn later this fall.

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