By Sgt. Daniel D. Haun, 300th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentJuly 23, 2012
BLUE GRASS ARMY DEPOT, Ky. (July 24, 2012) -- South Carolina National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Component units successfully completed hands-on logistics training in Richmond, Ky., as part of the national annual training exercise Operation Golden Cargo 2012.
"We are out here to perform a mission, a very serious mission and to train, train to do our jobs," said Command Sgt. Maj. Byron White, command sergeant major of Task Force Wildcat and the South Carolina National Guard 1050th Transportation Battalion out of Newberry, S.C.
"It's important because it's supporting the war fight and supporting the Joint Munitions Command," said Lt. Col. David Gayle, commander of the 1050th and Task Force Wildcat.
The national operation involved Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Navy Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve units. The teamwork between these Reserve units and JMC installations is vital to the success of munitions transport and safekeeping.
"The task force is built between the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, and in various theatres of operation around the world, the two are working together along with the active duty," said Gayle. "It's something that goes on all the time … they share a common bond, they wear the same uniform, they speak the same language, so that's very important," he said.
Golden Cargo saved taxpayers by giving Reserve Component units a real-world mission to perform during their annual training: the units get realistic training, and at the same time the JMC gets mission work done.
"The biggest thing about Golden Cargo is we're moving military munitions that would otherwise be pulled by a civilian contractor or carrier," said Lt. Benjamin Curle, the officer in charge of intelligence and planning for the 1050th. "The benefit to the average American out there is we are saving the government and the taxpayer money by moving this ammunition, at the same juncture as that we're also providing valuable training to Soldiers in a safe environment," he said.
"I would call it a resounding success, the reason I say that is we've moved about 107 percent of the ammunition that we were scheduled to move," said Curle. "We've done so safely with no major injuries, without any major accidents. We've moved efficiently, we brought everybody in, and our task force has really stood out as a group that's been willing to help other task forces and work with other people to get the job done," he said.
The experienced motor transport operators and munitions specialists trained new Soldiers on such tasks as operating forklifts, leading convoys, and tarping and strapping payloads.
"Considering we're a transportation company, it is important for us to get a lot of driving experience here," said Sgt. Lisa Myers, the medical readiness specialist for the 1050th. "We do have a lot of new Soldiers here, so if they can get those long haul missions under their belt stateside, and get comfortable with what they're hauling … they'll be more comfortable with their vehicle and their equipment, and more familiar with the people that they're working with, building that trusting relationship," she said.
"This mission is important because it's a valuable training asset … it gives our drivers a lot of experience getting out on the road, doing what they're supposed to be doing, so they can learn their skill sets and they can apply that toward other missions, whether it's natural disaster aid and relief, whether it's going overseas and performing our mission. It's very important for the Army to get supplies where they need to be," said Spc. Ben Jacobs, a motor transport operator from Anderson, S.C., with the 1055th Transportation Company.
National Guard and Reserve Component transportation units are always moving stocks between Army installations, doubly serving the supply needs of installations, as well as preparing for deployment overseas.
"In this annual training you've seen a lot of exemplary military bearing," said Lt. Thomas Krug, a Philadelphia native and transportation management officer with the Army Reserve 888th Movement Control Team.
"You've seen everything that the military is about: Soldiers doing their jobs without complaint, Soldiers learning things that they're going to be taking overseas with them when they take the fight to the enemy," he said.
Krug implored his Soldiers to transfer the successes of Golden Cargo to future such missions.
"Take all of the lessons that you've learned and take them overseas with you. Remember all of the valuable training that you've received here: some of it has been in the classroom, some of it has been out on the roads, but remember all of it," said Krug.