By Sgt. David ChapmanApril 21, 2010
For transportation units moving their vehicles from one location to another is just another training day. But for one unit it became part of a bigger mission and a preparation for deployment to combat.
The 15th Transportation Company conducted a mission readiness exercise that included a 960 mile, 3 day convoy from Fort Sill, Oklahoma to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Along the way the Soldiers stayed at Army Reserve and National Guard training centers so they could rest before continuing on with their travels.
Aca,!A"We stayed at Fort Riley and we stayed at Camp Dodge, Iowa, a National Guard airbase that was really nice. The airbase had great billeting for us and even a place we could service our vehicles to continue the mission,Aca,!A? said 1st Lt. Daniel Reep, 15th Transportation Company acting commander. Aca,!A"The purpose of the convoy was to get the unit into the mindset to deploy and to develop our core functions as a transportation unit.Aca,!A?
But the convoy to Wisconsin was only the start of the important training that they would be conducting once they arrived.
Aca,!A"We are doing a multitude of training in addition to conducting convoy operations. We are covering Rules Of Engagement, Counter Improvised Explosive Device training, which is critical for us; we call it core training,Aca,!A? said Reep.
For the unit preparing to deploy soon, the training serves as an important stepping stone toward what the Soldiers are going to need to know when they arrive in real world situations.
Aca,!A"This training is so important because this unit has deployed five times, this will be the sixth time since the start of the war. So many Soldiers come and go that we all need to be on the same page and work together,Aca,!A? said Reep. Aca,!A"We have to have standardized operating procedures for everything, but this training will only make our soldiers more adaptive once we get our boots on the ground.Aca,!A?
Fortunately for the Soldiers the 46,000 acres of training area at Fort McCoy yielded plenty of space and opportunities for them to learn.
Aca,!A"Fort McCoy was great, it is my first time here and it is beautiful. I love being in the outdoors in all (of the) trees,Aca,!A? said Spc. Aaron Phelps, truck driver, 15th Trans. Aca,!A"They have so many ranges and available resources for training.Aca,!A?
But after all the training is finished and the after action reviews are conducted, every Soldier leaving this training should remember some important concepts that they learned.
Aca,!A"From this exercise, aside from learning how to work together, I want them to go back home to their families. I want them to hug their wives and kiss their kids and appreciate being with them,Aca,!A? said Reep. Aca,!A?I hope that whatever system worked for them the month being away from each other worked well and if it didnAca,!a,,ct I hope they can fix it before we go for a year.Aca,!A?