BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Standing in the middle of a dust bowl, bright sun reflecting off their orange safety vests, Sgt. John L. Kammer and Spc. Taylor Bonin directed a massive push of Force Package 3 equipment to fighting forces throughout Afghanistan.

Hendricks and Kammer are members of the 382nd Transportation Theater Opening Element, Fort Eustis, Va., augmenting the 3rd Battalion of the 401st Army Field Support Brigade. The unit recently completed a four-month supply and equipment push to ensure troops in the field have what they need to get the job done.

"Kammer was in charge," said Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Hendricks, the transportation noncommissioned officer in charge of the 3-401st AFSB.

Hendricks oversaw and supervised the transportation operation of the shipments of Force Package 1, 2 and 3, while Kammer tracked the equipment by serial numbers and registration numbers, then matched them to transportation movement request numbers exiting Bagram Airfield.

"Basically, we assisted the warfighter in getting equipment in a fast, safe and efficient way," said Hendricks. "We had a lot of issues with the host-nation trucks. The people working out here, including the contractors with the AECOM-CACI Field Installation Readiness Support Team, had to decide which trucks were worth loading, and the capacity of the host-nation trucks we were putting the equipment on."

Host-nation trucks, also known as "jingle trucks" for their ornate paintings and colorful designs, were loaded and unloaded on Army Materiel Command prime real estate called "Area 307".

Hendricks, Kammer, and Bonin were the transportation team for the 3-401 AFSB and had a vital role in supporting U.S. and coalition forces. Along with AC FIRST contract personnel who loaded and unloaded vehicles, Kammer and Bonin assisted with getting the host-nation trucks ready for convoys headed to forward operating bases.

From May through September 2010, Force Packages 1, 2 and 3 were pushed out to fighting units by 3-401st AFSB Soldiers, Dept. of the Army civilians and AC FIRST contractors.

"Without the Force Packages being pushed out to the units, the Soldiers would not be able to do their mission down range," said Kammer. "They needed us in order to accomplish their mission."

With the final push of Force Package 3 equipment completed at the end of September, the mission of the 382nd Transportation Theatre Opening Element shifted to sustainment. Soldiers like Kammer and Bonin trained and prepared their transportation counterparts to continue serving U.S. Soldiers and coalition forces located at FOBs across Afghanistan's Regional Commands East and North.

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