Red Bulls: Preparing for a draw down
CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait - Currently in the Kuwait theatre of operation, the logistical draw down of forces for Operation New Dawn is in full motion. Spear-heading a majority of these logistical tasks recently falls heavily on the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry “Red Bull” Division.
The 364th Sustainment Command, “Task Force Rainier” brought a unique challenge that was handed over to Alpha and Bravo Companies of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor.
Their task was to assist the 364th in outlining, planning and coordinating the setup of the Redistribution Property Accountability Team yard to assist as a staging area for equipment as it is drawn out of Iraq.
Alpha Company, 1-194 CAB, 1st Platoon 3rd Squad assisted in the movement and the parking of tactical vehicles in the motor pool.
“The only way to know for sure if the yard will operate smoothly is to run actual trucks through this validation process” commented Spc. Matthew Lalli from Alexandria, Minn., an infantryman with Alpha Company, 1-194 CAB.
1st Platoon, 3rd Squad assisted by demonstrating the turning radius of the different tactical vehicles, all members of the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle family of vehicles, commonly referred to as the Humvee, and the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle family, like the 25-ton Caiman. This provided a detailed visualization of vehicle movement to see if there are any issues to the steady flow of traffic. 1st Platoon, 3rd Squad also ensured the designated parking areas in the RPAT yard were sufficient enough for the vehicles. Since this was such a successful test run, Alpha and Bravo Companies were asked again to assist in this process Oct. 5, 2011. After setting up the model lanes throughout the RPAT yard, both companies had the task of validating the setup to work out any issues and spot deficiencies prior to actual units turning in their vehicles.
With the design laid out, Alpha Company served as a “first training audience.” Soldiers from Alpha and Bravo sat in on detailed briefing as actual convoy commanders and then were directed through each station of the yard as an actual convoy would during the turn in process.
As the process continued, soldiers from both companies became familiarized with the outlined model and thoroughly understood what parts of the process improved efficiency. Detailed notes were taken on parking distances and on turning radiuses of the vehicles as the exercise neared completion. Overall the mission was a great success and provided yet another significant and important piece to the logistics picture.
“This training for Bravo Company is very valuable. It should really help the turn in process run smoothly and give the soldiers a good idea of what goes into operations at the recovery level” commented Pvt. 1st Class James Dahlheimer, an infantryman from St. Paul, Minn. with Bravo Company 1-194 CAB.
The soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard 1-194 CAB are expected to wrap up their mission and return home early next summer.