FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Soldiers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) have spent the last few weeks conducting railhead operations at the Fort Campbell Railhead as part of their encompassing mission of executing a Sea Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise and then completing their rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Railhead operations have required the Rakkasans Soldiers to inspect the vehicles and equipment in order to ensure that they are ready to be deployed. Following the inspection, the Rakkasans then had to secure the vehicles and equipment onto the trains where they will be traveling to the Port of Charleston, S.C. where the vehicles and equipment will then be loaded onto barges and be transported for use at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
“We’ll be pushing these vehicles down to Port Charleston S.C. where a contingent will oversee the operations, and transport the vehicles to Port Arthur, TX and then transport everything to the intermediate staging base at Alexandria, Louisiana for use at Fort Polk,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Eddie Brewer, the command sergeant major of 3rd Brigade Combat Team. “This is my first SEDRE in 28 years of service, it’s unique because Army personnel that are stationed in the continental United States would not ordinarily be called to execute a SEDRE and now we’re calling upon an entire Brigade to execute and hone in on our sea capability and it absolutely highlights the capacity of the Rakkasans.”
One of the ways that the Army projects its force across the world is through its aquatic capabilities, the SEDRE will validate 3rd Brigade’s ability to sail and navigate across all bodies of water. “This keeps us in the fight because it demonstrates our ability to project our strength across the world,” said Capt. Matthew Keller, the company commander of Lightning Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery “Red Knight Rakkasans”. “There are several methods of projecting our force, whether it be via air, ground or sea; there are places in the world where the most direct route is by boat, which is why we will be executing the SEDRE.”
Conducting an operation of this magnitude has been no small task for the Rakkasans, but they have taken it in stride despite the many demands of the mission. “We’ve definitely got the flow down now and are making this as efficient as possible,” Brewer said. “The Soldiers are working remarkably well together, I’m super proud of all the Rakkasans out here, who have been making this a successful mission.”
(Story by U.S. Army Spc. Jacob Wachob, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)