FORT KNOX, Ky. (July 23, 2010) - Sustainers from the 233rd Transportation Company conducted their first field training exercise in two years here from July 6 to July 14.

As the first time since returning from their deployment to Iraq that the transportation unit has been together as a whole company, the exercise improved on the Soldiers' skills and built unit cohesion.

The 233rd Transportation Company is split among three Army posts. Fort Knox, Ky. is home to the headquarters, maintenance section and 2nd and 3rd platoons. Fort Stewart, Ga. is home to 1st platoon and 4th platoon calls Fort Benning, Ga. home.

Throughout the exercise, 233rd Soldiers trained side by side on warrior tasks and drills including first aid, communications and heavy weapons. The focus of the event was the convoy live fire exercise. This event helped train platoons on reacting to the unexpected and gave Soldiers a chance to work with their fellow transporters under pressure.

"I was so impressed how easily everyone was able to get into the mix and start working together as if we have been here the whole time. There is zero friction and the gears are meshing," said Sgt. 1st Class Herman Cowan, 4th platoon platoon sergeant and native of Newberry, South Carolina.

During the convoy live fire exercise, platoons were subjected to high-stress situations, testing their ability to react under pressure. These situations included an improvised explosive device (IED) ambush, performing first aid to wounded Soldiers, establishing a landing zone for medical evacuation, and engaging targets with live ammunition.

2nd Lt. Brandon Schwartz, 2nd platoon platoon leader, was also impressed with the ease with which the Company was able to work together.

"I honestly didn't know what to expect. This was my first FTX with the company and my first time meeting these guys [1st and 4th platoon], said Schwartz, a native of Hastings, Mich.

Schwartz added that working with the other platoons could not have been easier and said the leadership connected and Soldiers at every level worked together well.
This field exercise is the first of three that the 233rd Transportation Company plans to conduct prior to their next deployment. The next two will be increasingly complex and focus more on platoon and company exercises.

Photos and story by 2nd Lt. Sean Chang, 233rd Transportation Company, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
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