By 1st Lt. Phillip MuhawiJune 20, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla.- B Battery, 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery recently held a mobility exercise traveling to a Kuwaiti air base where E Company led the joint logistics and theater security training that included Kuwaiti enlisted personnel.
"This is the initial push for integrating Kuwaiti enlisted personnel into joint exercises. It is definitely cutting edge and exciting," said Capt. William Burch, B Battery commander. "The Kuwaitis were eager to participate and further fine-tune their joint air and missile defense operations. It was of the utmost priority to unite and properly welcome our host nation partners to the battalion team through a morning mission brief."
1st Lt. Phillip Muhawi provided interpretation and disseminated information to the Kuwaiti chief warrant officer in charge. The Kuwaitis were privy to all the joint and mission essential information as the exercise began with convoy operations.
These operations proved successful as E Company continued to lead the effort maximizing the use of its own interpreter. This strengthened ties not only between the Kuwaitis during the exercise, but more so better communicated with host nation security on location.
E Company built and established great rapport with the air base headquarters and set the stage for future engagements. Once the parameters of the convoy were deemed acceptable, the Kuwaitis allowed about 40 vehicles through their gates and allotted day passes to leaders for further use.
E Company exemplified versatile sustainment and embraced the ability to adapt to all circumstances. The company served several roles to include employing a blue force tracker to determine convoy location, a wrecker for emergency vehicle recovery, a fuel truck for refueling operations and an intermediate support element (ISE) team on ground in case of malfunctions or issues with the radar system.
The repair and logistical support system proved to be integral for B Battery operations. In particular, its ISE team provided key support and monitoring of the radar before the mission execution.
Logistical support is extremely important to the "I Strike" mission, and E Battery continues to sustain the fight.
"It is our duty and responsibility to support the battalion. I understand that and know that my Soldiers understand that too," said Staff Sgt. Chad Shier, E Company motor sergeant. "Echo's mission is complete when the battalion's mission is complete. We will continue to use our resources and teach our Soldiers so they can contribute to ensuring the battalion is mission ready."
Capt. Gabriela Thompson, E Company commander, expressed her pride in her Soldiers.
"They take pride in their work and do a great job sustaining the fight," she said. "I couldn't ask for a better team."
Whether conducting host nation joint strategic defense with a new potential base of Kuwaiti enlisted personnel or providing logistical sustainment for operations in a tactical environment, B Battery covered all ground.