CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Oct. 19, 2011 -- At the Victory Base Complex in Iraq, a place that is beginning to feel empty, there is one place that is filling up fast, the RPAT yard at Camp Liberty.
The Redistribution Property Assistance Team is working hard for the long haul out of Iraq. Convoy after convoy, container upon container, tactical vehicles and combat equipment get sorted, documented and pushed out as fast as they come in from the forward operating bases around Baghdad.
"Getting units to turn in their equipment was the challenge," explained 1st. Lt. Michael Saslo, the officer-in-charge of the RPAT. "Until recently, they were hanging on to it. Now, we are getting between 25 and 50 vehicles each day and about 300 to 500 other pieces of equipment daily. So now it's the velocity of turn-in and pushing it out that is the challenge."
The team is an assembly of Soldiers from the National Guard, Reserve, active duty and civilians all working under the banner of the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade. It receives and ships out a steady stream of rolling stock (vehicles), and non-rolling stock, which is mostly communication and test equipment, power generators and other combat gear.
The team processes a mountain of paperwork in which every number has to be correct or the item cannot be shipped.
Pfc. Charlie Moore is a supply specialist who tends to the paperwork 12 hours daily, seven days a week.
"I am happy to be here in this job. The work is good. It's interesting and I get a feeling of accomplishment from helping other Soldiers relieve their property so they can go home," said Moore.
There are seven RPATs in Iraq. The operation at Victory Base Complex is the largest by a wide margin, averaging about 327 vehicle turn-ins and 10,000 other items weekly. And, in the coming weeks this pace is expected to be the norm.