By Ms. Brittany Bartholomew (AMC)November 17, 2010
MILAN, Tenn. - The Milan Army Ammunition Plant family recently welcomed back one of its own from an overseas mission.
Ricky Robinson, logistics management specialist, returned to work after almost four months in the desert climate of Kuwait. During his deployment, Robinson served as the Class V air delivery coordinator and manager for the U.S. Central Command Deployment Distribution Operation Center.
His main duties included coordinating ammunition between the points of production, such as manufacturing plants and depots, and the points of use, such as combat zones in Afghanistan. Robinson was responsible for selecting the appropriate modes of transportation for each ammunition order based on the priority level of each request. Robinson dealt with critical details regarding troop composition, combat location, and shipment coordination during his deployment.
When asked about his experience working alongside Soldiers, Robinson explained, "I got to see my life's progression and growth. I joined the Army right after high school at 18 and stayed until I was 25."
Robinson reminisced about his days as a Soldier, and he beamed with pride over a discussion of his career success. After leaving the Army as a sergeant, Robinson obtained a slot in the Federal Career Experience Program, which set him on the path to manage ammunition. After graduating from the program, Robinson secured a position as the logistics management specialist at Milan Army Ammunition Plant in Milan, Tenn.
Robinson, when reviewing his climb from basic training to ammo-management, reflected on the magnitude of his most recent task: "No ammo went into Afghanistan without me coordinating it in there...I was in a very important position over there and was reminded of it daily."
In addition to the trials of living in a desert climate in hostile territory, Robinson also underwent unexpected surgery in this unfamiliar land. Robinson describes his appendicitis and subsequent surgery as a "big surprise," and he related the urgency of a quick and thorough recovery.
Robinson stated, "The work schedule over there was seven days a week, 13 to 14 hours a day. When you don't have a back-up, it's kind of hard to take off."
The United States Army utilizes both military and civilian forces in support of Operation New Dawn. Army civilians work alongside Soldiers in the theater to ensure efficient and effective ammunition distribution and management. Robinson volunteered to travel to Kuwait with the CENTCOM mission to both share and gain expertise in his field of ammunition management. Robinson explains about his time overseas, "I got a new appreciation for Milan and the job we do here."
Finally, Robinson shared one last comment regarding his deployment in Kuwait: "Don't forget to add...it was HOT!!!