MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU AIR BASE, Romania -- Soldiers from 23rd Ordnance Company, 18th Combat Sustainment Support Command, hit the ground running upon arrival here July 15.

The 23rd Ord. Co. assumed mission command of Task Force Warhammer providing logistical support to the Atlantic Resolve South area of operations from 1st Inland Cargo Transfer Company, a fellow 18th CSSB company.

In austere forward deployed facilities like the ammunition holding area at MK, local contracts often limit the local national's scope of work. These limitations require U.S. Soldiers to adapt and deploy in an expeditionary manner to assist with the establishment and operation of base ammunition support.

As a part of Task Force Warhammer, ammunition handlers not only support MK's Directorate of Logistics, but also provide other organizations operating in the Black Sea region with adaptive and flexible munitions support through material handling equipment and subject matter expertise.

"Warhammer has been a huge help for us," said Mr. Howard Willis, a logistician with the DOL. "They give us flexibility that we normally wouldn't have down here to complete the mission."

The Soldiers work from dusk until dawn as they prepare the ammunition for storage or shipment. They stack boxes of ammunition onto wooden skids and band them together. Forklifts move into position to load the skids onto pallets: once loaded the pallets weigh almost 10,000 pounds. The frequent use and reliance of such equipment emphasizes the need to maintain readiness. When not working in the AHA, the Soldiers work to ensure their forklifts are prepared to lift such weights.

"We are the ones making sure our equipment is ready to go and that we can use it. It falls on us to get the mission done and help our Allies," said Spc. William Hanlon, an ammunition specialist assigned to 23rd Ordnance Company, and native of Quincy, MA. "It's a good chance to show what we know and what we can do."

Since taking mission command of TF Warhammer, Soldiers from 23rd Ord. Co. have loaded and palletized ammunition for the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, and the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force. These efforts have supported training exercises across the region to include Saber Guardian 16 and Sea Shield 16. In this period, they have moved over a million rounds of ammunition.

"Just in these past few weeks it has been a great opportunity for our Soldiers to work in a joint partnership environment like this" said 23rd Ordnance Company, 1st Sgt. Kerry Schnitz. "It's keeping them sharp on their skills and making them think on their feet. This is the type of work and training our Soldiers will remember and for the rest of their lives."

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The 16th Sustainment Brigade is part of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command (21TSC), which is the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) sustainment command. Our mission-ready, responsive, and effective and efficient teams of trained and ready Soldiers are committed to mission excellence. Headquartered in Baumholder, Germany, our Soldiers conduct missions every day throughout the European theater and beyond.