By Pamela ProperOctober 4, 2011
CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait -- The 541st Combat Support Sustainment Battalion is processed in and bracing itself for the onslaught of equipment and personnel as units depart Iraq.
The battalion, dubbed the "Pacesetters" from Fort Riley, Kan., is responsible for relieving units of property accountability of theater-provided and government- furnished equipment and getting it back into the Army stock.
That is no small task. It's the logistics side of Operation New Dawn and after eight years of getting the boatloads of gear into Iraq, getting it out is just as critical, especially given the condensed timeline established by U.S. Forces-Iraq.
Operational control of the 541st falls under the expansive umbrella of the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade. Lt. Col. William J. Cain Jr. , commander, 541st CSSB, said the brigade did a great job setting the conditions prior to the units arrival, which set the unit up for a smooth transition with AFSBn-Iraq.
"We had on-going conversation for six to seven weeks prior to deploying that gave us the opportunity to express our concerns along with our requirements. The 402nd did an outstanding job setting up our living and work spaces at Camp Virginia along with getting us resources to so we can be productive upon hitting the ground," said Cain.
It will be a challenging mission, Cain said, but one the unit is fully prepared to conduct. The unit went through a deliberate training process prior to deployment in order to prepare them for the challenges it may encounter while deployed. The unit is confident that it is ready for the convoys to come.
"We're expecting multiple BCTs (Brigade Combat Teams) over a sixty day period. Each BCT has between 1,600 and 2,000 pieces of rolling stock (wheeled vehicles) and other equipment consisting of CECOM equipment, body armor and numerous other non-rolling stock items," Cain said.
" We will relieve them of their property accountability, provide disposition instructions and coordinate for the onward movement. The 541st CSSB has a trained and ready team that is excited about the increase in operational tempo and are ready to face any challenge that comes our way," said Cain.