CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq -The 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, a logistics battalion from Fort Bragg, N.C., opened a new Class I warehouse here Oct. 30.

The 264th CSSB manages the Class I yard on COB Speicher, one of Iraq's main hubs for Class I supplies, which consist of sustenance items such as food and water.

According to Staff Sgt. Marvin Viney, the 264th's noncommissioned officer in charge of Class I and Goldsboro, N.C., native, this project has been in the works for more than 2 years and cost nearly $500,000.

The project spanned three battalions over three rotations at COB Speicher and was the brainchild of the 143rd CSSB, Viney said. The majority of the work was completed by the 391st CSSB on the next rotation, and the warehouse was finished by the 264th.

The warehouse, a climate-controlled facility, will prolong the life of the food and beverages it stores, said Maj. Jack Kredo, the battalion's support operations officer.

"The climate controlled facility maximizes the shelf life of the Class I stored in this facility by getting it out of the heat and other elements," Kredo, a Colorado Springs, Colo., native, said.

The yard supports all of COB Speicher as well as two smaller sites at Contingency Operating Base Summerall and Forward Operating Base Bernstein, Kredo explained.

"All of the Class I for Summerall and Bernstein comes through the COB Speicher Class I yard and supplies the dining facilities at these outlying FOBs in order to sustain the force," Kredo said.

Overall, the Speicher's Class I yard supports more than 30,000 Soldiers in Multi-National Division-North, according to Viney.

"There are [nearly 3,500] Soldiers outside of COB Speicher that rely solely on this yard for all of their food.

"Prior to the completion of the warehouse, food and beverages started going bad in the heat," said Viney. "Some of the food that was going bad included [Meals, Ready-to-Eat] and [other rations] that are provided to Soldiers on convoys and patrols."

Kredo said the weather, primarily sandstorms, prevented the warehouse from being completed earlier.

"This warehouse has been a long time coming," Kredo said.

Now that the warehouse is complete, Kredo said the 264th CSSB will be more capable of supporting Soldiers throughout the area of operations.