3-401st RPAT yard helps with U.S. Forces draw down
July 23, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan. (July 19, 2012) -- For units redeploying home, the Redistribution Property Accountability Team yard represents the end of mission.
But for the Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 401ST Army Field Support Brigade, it represents a mission that will continue until the last Soldier goes home.
The 3-401st works with contractors to in-process battle damaged vehicles, conduct ammo abatement operations and redeploys cargo back to the U.S.
In the last four months, the RPAT yard has redeployed more than 1,600 pieces of rolling stock with the anticipation of the workload tripling in the coming months during the U.S. Forces drawdown.
"I know there are other yards on Bagram that help with the redeployment process, but it feels like everyone in country is coming through our yard,"
Spc. Anthony Espinal, a transportation data clerk with the 427th Brigade Support Battalion cross leveled to the 3-401st AFSB said. "Everyday it's a lot of trucks, a lot of paperwork and a lot of tracking everything that goes in and out of our yard."
The workload for the 3-401st has been so overwhelming that the battalion has received cross-leveled Soldiers from the 427th BSB who're learning transportation management skills.
"I come from an infantry unit originally doing signal support systems stuff, but now I'm learning more about transportation operations," Espinal said.
Lt. Col. Brian McNulty, a logistics task force commander, 3-401st AFSB, said the cross-leveled Soldiers are learning how to become logisticians because they have great attitudes and determination.
"I have great Soldiers and my goal at the end of this deployment is to retrograde 50,000 or more combat vehicles," McNulty said. "Our unit hopes to increase the monthly velocity of retrograde to exceed 600 vehicles per month to make that happen."
As the traffic continues to flow through the Ground Lines of Communications (GLOC), the 3-401st AFSB will start to redeploy cargo at a faster rate.
"Until we perfect the retrograde process all we're doing is trying to make the mission more effective," Espinal said. "In the past four months we've moved over $500 million worth of cargo so the better the process, the easier it helps units get home."
McNulty said even though there have been some difficulty with the RPAT yard process enforcement, this is shaping out to be the best mission he's ever had.
The mission of the RPAT yard may not be an easy one, but for the 3-401st AFSB it doesn't have to be easy … a sense of fulfillment will come when the job is done.