By Pamela ProperNovember 21, 2011
CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait (Nov. 21, 2011) -- Units started rolling in from the north in short bursts, but now with the deadline to be out of Iraq drawing ever closer, the pace has accelerated for Soldiers departing Iraq and for those taking over their hand receipts.
While it's the end of a mission for redeploying units, it's only the beginning for the many Soldiers manning the turn-in lanes at Camp Virginia, Kuwait.
Staff Sgt. Kwame Peterkin is the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade's operational area. Units turn in tactical vehicles and communications equipment to Peterkin's team and business is brisk.
"My guys like to stay busy. It keeps Soldiers fresh," said Peterkin.
The turn-in involves some paperwork, and that, Peterkin said, is the biggest wrinkle.
"These units don't always come in here with the proper documentation. It's the biggest challenge. It halts the operation, but we work through it and we help them get it all in order so they can go home," said Peterkin.
This is Peterkin's third deployment so nothing rattles him, not even missing paperwork. He claims teamwork is what makes it all work.
"I came into Iraq when it started. I was here in the middle and now I get to see closure, the end of it, and this time I am working with a lot of AMC (Army Materiel Command) civilians and I am learning a lot from them. Most are retirees who bring a lot of knowledge and having AMC experience on a resume will be a plus," Peterkin said. "I tell my team, this experience you can put in your toolbox."
It is estimated that between October and December the AMC team will move approximately 19,000 tactical vehicles out of Iraq. It's a job that takes a coordinated effort that starts and ends with Soldiers and civilians in the lanes.
"We have great cohesion. That's what makes us a good team, makes the job easier," said Peterkin. "Civilians and military, we are all on the same sheet of music to do a mission."