Big brother helps track cargo
Spc. Chaz Harley of Springfield, Mo., a movement control specialist with the 560th Movement Control Detachment, also of Springfield, assembles a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), used for communicating with and tracking convoys as part of Operation Golden Cargo June 8. Operation Golden Cargo is a large-scale, national exercise that allows Soldiers in the National Guard, Reserve and Active component to get realistic training by transporting large amounts of munitions across the country. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Chalon Hutson.)

By. Pfc. Chalon Hutson, 301st Public Affairs Detachment

BLUE GRASS ARMY DEPOT, Ky. " “We are big brother. Whenever big brother sees little brother being hit, it’s our job to protect them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Vencin Bishop, a movement control specialist from Springfield, Mo., with the 560th Movement Control Detachment, also from Springfield, describing his unit’s mission during Operation Golden Cargo this month.

Operation Golden Cargo is a large-scale, national exercise that allows Soldiers in the Army National Guard, Reserve and Active component to get realistic training by transporting large amounts of munitions across the country. The mission of the 560th MCT is to track movements of Army convoys, personnel, equipment and cargo throughout the mission.

In order to accomplish the mission they use the best of the best equipment available. Movement control coordinators use devices such as the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and the Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3).

“We could fully operate in the boot-hills of Africa or the sand-hills of Iraq or Afghanistan,” Bishop said. T

his equipment is able to be fully mobilized, deployed and operated in the field, which gives the 560th MCT great tactical capabilities when deployed overseas.

“As far as our equipment goes; the BCS3 is the best. It’s the mother of all systems,” said Spc. Matt Kane of Springfield, a logistical specialist with the 560th MCT. “This is an amazing opportunity to get real-life experience.”

During Operation Golden Cargo, the 560th MCT maintain the status of moving convoys in real time, and ability to communicate with them if something should go wrong.

“Commanders have an actual view of their convoys. It gives them real-time communication,” Bishop said. “In a real-time situation, if your convoy is hit, you know exactly when and where.”

This exercise provides a unique training opportunity for Soldiers who haven’t had the chance to track real-life convoys, and all without leaving the country.

“The Soldiers are learning how to operate with the systems without costing the government much money,” Bishop said.

“The experience is benefitting the younger Soldiers significantly,” Kane said. He is one of the few Soldiers in his unit with experience as a movement control coordinator during a deployment overseas. With this training, other Soldiers in the 560th MCT will be even more prepared for accomplishing such a vital job to the overall mission.

“Our goal is to make sure that no matter what happens, the trucks get from point A to point B and back,” he said. “Nothing moves without us.”

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Page last updated Tue June 21st, 2011 at 13:45