KUWAIT- Sgt. Breanna Carder, a reservist from Wood River Ill., currently serving on active duty with the 458th Movement Control Team, wears many hats. She is a shift noncommissioned officer in charge, a squad leader; a hazardous material certifier and mission stand out.
"She's a great asset to our unit," said Sgt. 1st Class Saundra Anderson, second shift noncommissioned officer in charge and platoon sergeant.
Carder, with several other Soldiers, works as a Cargo Specialist in the Arrival/Departure Air Cargo Group, a liaison for logistical movement through Air Force channels to and from anywhere in Southwest Asia or from Southwest Asia to anywhere in the United States.
"What we do is prepare Army cargo to go on Air Force flights," Carder said. "Some of the cargo we receive comes to us as retrograde ... other cargo is deployment or redeployment cargo."
"We prepare the cargo so that the Air Force's job is minimal and easy as possible," she added.
Her unit has been an integral part of retrograde operations that have been a priority since combat operations have ceased and the advise and assist roll began. Taking it upon herself, with guidance from her leadership, Carder has developed a tracking system and checklist that have helped streamline the process. This, in turn, has helped save time and money that can be redistributed to the war fighter.
Since December 2014, they have received 250 pieces of cargo for shipment. They have connected more than 150 flights. The type of aircraft used equals the price of fuel, which can be more than $600,000 just for one flight. So, if cargo misses its flight, the Army has to pay for the flight regardless. All that money adds up, and since her system has been in place, no cargo has missed a flight within their realm of control.
"On a spreadsheet, we input the pertinent information: the transportation control number, unit line number, point of contact, the type of cargo; indicate whether it is hazardous material and the documentation," she said. "So every day we check this information against what the Air Mobility Division publishes to see what's moving."
Since arriving in August, one of the biggest challenges her unit has had to face is establishing the mission and streamlining operations.
"This mission had just been set up by people where this wasn't their realm or job. One of them was a Civil Affairs NCO, so to give you an idea this is a career field for us and for them they just kind of threw three people into this like 'here make this work,'" Carder said.
"They had the baseline of the mission, but there has been a lot of refining the process," she added. "We've gotten forklift training, so we can upload and download cargo on and off of trucks, learning about the vehicles; how to start them and move them because a lot of vehicles come through this yard."
When asked how she felt participating in this capacity, Carder said, "I enjoy coming to work every day. I enjoy moving people's cargo from place to place. I really enjoy helping people get whatever needs to go on a plane, whether it be vehicles, baggage or bottles of water and MREs to Soldiers up north or moving Christmas dinner. I just really enjoy helping the whole process run."