'Operation Slingshot' allows Soldiers to turn in equipment quicker prior to Afghan departure
March 6, 2013
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (March 6, 2013) -- The Rakkasans are on a "slingshot" course that will lead them straight home to Fort Campbell, Ky.
Elements of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, known as the Rakkasans, entered their equipment into a Theater Provide Equipment planner, checked and carefully rechecked serial numbers, reviewed their paperwork, convoyed for hours, with 17 vehicles eventually rolling into the Bagram Redistribution Property Assistance Team, or RPAT, yard, Feb. 18. The unit was ready to turn in vehicles to bring them closer to redeploying.
Nicknamed "Operation Slingshot," the Rakkasan equipment turn-in was planned along the model used for the off-ramp of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, in September 2012. Using the model and lessons learned, the Rakkasans built their process by early coordination with Bagram RPAT personnel.
"Our Soldiers got to Bagram last night, staged their vehicles and got everything ready for the turn-in this morning," said Capt. Travis S. Hunter, who has been at Bagram for about six weeks to serve as a liaison with AFSBattalion-Bagram, 401st Army Field Support Brigade. "Major (Brett) Ayvazian briefed them on what to expect and then they started the Four Corners process."
The phrase "Four Corners" refers to removing excess classes of supplies from vehicles in one location as opposed to going to several places to turn in excess supplies. The Four Corners operation in Bagram is run by the 1st Sustainment Brigade, which takes the supplies to the retrosort yard where they can be reutilized or disposed.
Hunter said he expected to have the turn-in of the 17 vehicles completed in about eight hours. Lt. Col. James Davis and Ayvazian were a "big help" and that the RPAT personnel were able to complete multiple actions simultaneously to expedite the process, he added.
"We completed the first Four Corners operation for the 3rd Brigade," said Master Sgt. Sheldon Mayfield, support operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge. "We turned in three vehicles yesterday and the guys said it was 'too easy.'"
"The process is really, really fast when the paperwork is in place," said Ayvazian. "The paperwork goes inside while the vehicle is still at Four Corners."
Ayvazian said the Soldiers turning in paperwork were missing one signature. Because the paperwork was looked at while the vehicles were still in the Four Corners process, one of the responsible officers for the battalion was able to come to the RPAT yard and resolve it.