By Capt. Amy CraneMay 15, 2019
CRANE, Ind. - Soldiers from the 321st Ordnance Battalion out of Cross Lanes, West Virginia conducted their annual training at Crane Army Ammunition Activity May 6-15, which focused on essential Soldier tasks and supporting logistics operations here.
Soldiers worked alongside Crane Army's civilian workforce and gained real-world experience in moving live ammunition.
"We've had a very positive experience out there. There's specialized munitions here at Crane and our soldiers have never seen or worked with some of those specialized munitions," said Lt. Col. Thomas Kim, battalion commander for the 321st. "By working with the munitions they're learning those types of munitions and in turn, the civilian teams that are out there are getting additional help from our Soldiers. It's a symbiotic relationship we've established with Crane personnel."
Ammunition Handler, Spc. Andrew Nagy, led the palletized loading system team and helped move munitions, equipment and resources for Crane Army's Depot Operations.
"Our team helped transport empty military containers, live ammunition and dunnage or spent ammunition across Crane Army," said Nagy. "There was a different mission every day and having served overseas, it was exciting to get hands on training with live munitions."
In any training environment, morale is an important part. Supply Non-Commissioned Officer Spc. Andrew Rodgers explained his mission and how the training helped bring Soldiers together.
"Our mission was to support logistics including expendable food, provide drinking water to our Soldiers," said Rodgers. "Our battalion has two down trace units and with this annual training we were able to bring Soldiers together and have unit comradery."
The annual training also provided an opportunity for junior Soldiers to step into leadership positions.
"With our training, we started at the crawl phase," Rodgers said. "At the end of the training we were running six different scenarios at one time and junior Soldiers took over and were able to use skills they learned to accomplish the mission."
Not only did Soldiers complete their mission, they also helped Crane Army civilians provide munitions readiness for the Joint Warfighter.
"This exercise brought 17 ammo handlers to train with our depot operations," said Steve Cummings, depot operations coordinator." The ammo handlers have been embedded with field crews, where they have been able to gain experience and training in all aspects of the operation. They have successfully completed several critical missions enhancing depot operations capabilities over the past week.
Crane Army Ammunition Activity produces and provides conventional munitions requirements in support of U.S. Army and Joint Force readiness. It is one of 17 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial bases under the U.S. Army Materiel Command, which include arsenals, depots, activities and ammunition plants. Established Oct. 1977, it is located on Naval Support Activity Crane.