Reserve transportation unit keeps goods moving during Golden Cargo
July 19, 2012
BLUE GRASS ARMY DEPOT, Ky. (July 19, 2012) -- As dawn broke over the Blue Grass Army Depot July 11, Smithfield, Va., native Sgt. Aaron Myers addressed his Soldiers.
"The slightest mistake could cause injury to ourselves and civilians out on the road," Myers said. "Our primary mission, besides getting the ammunition there, is safety."
Task Force Wildcat motor transport operators with the 424th Transportation Company out of Galax, Va., transported hundreds of ammunition crates for Operation Golden Cargo, the 21st in a series of annual training operations sponsored by the Joint Munitions Command.
Myers, a motor transport operator with the 424th and a convoy commander for the mission, spoke of the importance of safety as the primary concern of this realistic training.
"A successful day for me out on the road is having no accidents, and everybody having fun and accomplishing their jobs," he said.
"Our job in military transportation is just as important as the civilian semis that are out on the streets," said Myers. "They supply the goods for everybody here, and we supply the goods that our fellow Soldiers need to get their jobs done," he said.
"We may not be in Afghanistan, we may not be in the frontline at the moment, but what we do here dictates what goes on there," agreed Sgt. Andrew Dickerson, a 424th motor transport operator from Richmond, Va.
With the help of the 826th Ordnance Company out of Madison, Wis., the 424th has loaded and shipped hundreds of munitions during convoy operations for Operation Golden Cargo. For many young Soldiers, this is the first time palletizing, shipping, and handling live munitions.
Senior truck master, Master Sgt. James Helmling, reached out to his younger Soldiers during the exercise.
"I hope to help them understand that it is success and the commitment to excellence that we bring … one day they will be the passenger, or their cargo will be being shipped," said Helmling.
Capt. Deborah Vines, company commander for the 424th, addressed her troops before they hit the road with precious cargo.
"Wear your Kevlar at all times … if you are tired let somebody know … watch your intervals, especially when you get to Fort Leonard Wood," she said.
The Soldiers checked their gear and trucks one last time, then mounted up.
"My Soldiers love to see that someone actually cares: that someone sees that they're doing the hard work, and that it counts," said Vines, originally from Rocky Mount, N.C.
"Being a part of an integral team, learning what other people do, and having that concurrent training is awesome," said Vines. "Golden Cargo is one of the best annual training exercises that my unit loves to do, and will continue to do, until we get our next mission," she said.