FORT HOOD, Texas - Sometimes the transport operators of the 96th Transportation Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), have to travel great distances to accomplish the mission.
That was the case when Leopard Battalion troops assisted Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in transporting an M1A2 Abrams Tank to San Antonio, Texas.
The Military Warriors Support Foundation partnered with several other organizations to honor wounded warriors and the military throughout a recent PGA golf tournament. The 2-8 Cav troops attended the event and gave demonstrations of their equipment.
The 96th Trans. Co., one of the few heavy transportation companies in the U.S. Army, provided a team of eight Soldiers and two of the largest ground vehicles in the Army's Transportation Corps to haul the tank.
The Heavy Equipment Transport, or HET, is the primary tool for the 96th. A Wrecker vehicle also joined the convoy. The Wrecker is used to recover equipment such as tanks in case of an incident.
"The parallel participation of both units played a vital role in fulfilling the request for the display," said Sgt. Jeffery O'Millian, an operations sergeant who helped arrange the convoy. "The team effort took all necessary measures to deliver the tank safely."
The Soldiers said they enjoyed a nice change of pace from their usual daily tasks. The convoy took six hours both ways.
"It felt like a breath of fresh air to be able to have a convoy mission without combat," said Sgt. Jesse Newman, a wrecker operator and mechanic. "Our regular rotations in a combat zone consist of eighteen hours days and exhausted equipment."
The 2-8 Cav troops also enjoyed the break in routine and the chance to showcase their equipment.
"For the civilians, we arranged a demonstration of the best equipment in the world, the Abrams Tank," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Eka, 2-8 Cav. "We gave the community of San Antonio a realistic view of frontline equipment."
(Spc. Ann Marie White from the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion contributed to this story)