Soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve’s 250th Transportation Company drove 5,000 miles across six states to transport vital munitions in support of Operation Patriot Press, making two stops at Tooele Army Depot (TEAD), Utah.
Operation Patriot Press is an Army Material Command initiative that joins the help of the National Guard and Army Reserve to ensure Army readiness through real-world missions. The California Army Reserve company completed the mission over the course of 19 days on the road.
The company’s convoy transported ammunition from Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma, stopping to rest at Tooele Army Depot. Upon reaching McAlester, they offloaded and then picked up munitions headed for TEAD.
On the drive back to Utah, the unit encountered a bump in the road. One of the trucks caught on fire; thankfully, no one was seriously hurt. Despite the brief hiatus, the 250th finished hauling the load to the Depot with no damage to the munitions.
“I have been deployed 5 times, and I have never had a vehicle do that before. It was unfortunate, but it also served as great training for our 54 troops,” said 1st Sgt. Stephen Cannon, 250th Transportation Company.
The mission is essential for the unit, preparing junior enlisted soldiers for possible national and international crises and emergencies, providing them time behind the wheel in local and long-distance settings, as well as receiving, arranging, examining, and transporting munitions to ensure Army preparedness.
“It was a learning exercise for them to learn what Tooele is about and to be able to practice their skills,” said Clint Leatham, Tooele Army Depot, Division Chief of Ammunition Operations.
The California Army Reserve unit supplied 19 truckloads to Tooele Army Depot, totaling 229,303 rounds of ammunition and saving $144,400 in shipping costs.
The 250th had a significant impact on the workforce during their four nights in Tooele. According to Glenda Bender, Tooele Army Depot, Chief of Planning and Support Division, the operation gave TEAD employees the opportunity to work alongside soldiers, boosting morale and reminding them of the Depot’s primary mission— providing ready, reliable, and lethal munitions to the Joint Warfighter.