The 420th Transportation Battalion, configured as a movement control battalion, facilitates over 900 land movements a week throughout Southwest Asia in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Spartan Shield.
Reporting directly to the 1st Theater Sustainment Command's operational command post, the 420th is responsible for all movement control in Kuwait and Iraq - and beyond.
"This a completely different environment, a different skill set than what a normal MCB does, the policy and procedures are different" says Lt. Col Leopold Karanikolas, battalion commander. "It has to do with a lot of host nation country and diplomatic clearances, and it changes the MCB mission and makes the mission very complex."
The 420th MCB has five cells within the area of operations, and maintains a working relationship with many U.S. government agencies as well as eight different host nations in order to provide critical transportation support, including real-time tracking of cargo, personnel, and equipment moving around theater.
"If you walked in and saw our operations, you would see various cells communicating together to move equipment from origin to destination - while using multiple internal and external agencies to make that happen," Karanikolas said. "We have great relationships with the agencies and within the 1st TSC, and strategic partners in the AO."
The Sherman Oaks, California - based U.S. Army Reserve unit was first organized as the 21st Traffic Regulation Group on Oct. 28, 1944, earning World War II campaign participation credit and a Meritorious Unit Commendation in Italy. Their fifty-plus Soldiers build on that success in a fast-paced environment, maintaining a high operational tempo to ensure that warfighters get supplies and equipment on time.
"This environment requires a lot of flexibility, and that comes from the Soldiers. It comes down to work and their performance, along with our partners," Karanikolas noted. "Without the team effort, we wouldn't be able to accomplish what we do."