News: Gamblers work to keep Dragons gunnery rolling
Story by Pfc. Paige Pendleton
FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers can’t eat. Tanks won’t move. And weapons won’t fire without logistics support.
Forward Support Company G “Gamblers” of the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, provided that support needed to execute Table XV Gunnery at Fort Hood, Texas, Sept. 30 to Oct. 8.
Gambler FSC must have a no-fail logistics plan in order to keep the Dragon Battalion moving.
This plan includes a range of support operations to include establishing a logistics resupply point, setting up field feeding sites, maintaining every piece of equipment across the battalion, and distributing ammunition.
“We support the batteries (or) companies,” said 1st Sgt. Leon Johnson, the Gamblers senior noncommissioned officer. “Whatever things we can’t do, the (115th “Muleskinner” Brigade Support Battalion) will help us.”
“The bottom line is, if the enemy is out there and (the battalion) has to shoot artillery … to protect our soldiers, we have to be able to do that,” said Johnson, who is a native of Girard, Ohio. “Our sustaining the batteries … helps makes that mission happen.”
Split operations enable Gamblers to provide forward and rear support to Dragon Batteries conducting gunnery qualification, said Capt. Quentin Benjamin, the Gamblers’ commander.
The company operates from two locations, a Field Trains Command Post near garrison and a Combat Trains Command Post located close to maneuver elements. The FTCP is the hub for supplies to restock the CTCP, operating as a nearby support location for batteries.
The Gamblers ensure soldiers have what they need by making daily rounds to Dragon Batteries.
“It’s a never-ending chain of resupply to the CTCP or to the battery,” added Benjamin, a native of Orangeburg, S.C.
Maintainers, cooks and distribution specialists work mainly out of the CTCP.
Some maintainers are attached to each battery for on-the-spot needs during missions, and maintainers come equipped with a portable tool shop for on-site repairs called a forward repair system.
The maintainers also serve as recovery assets and tow vehicles that break down in transit.
“Our primary mission out here is (to) make sure these guns (keep) shooting,” said Oxnard, Calif., native, Staff Sgt. Robert Vela, a Gambler artillery mechanic.
Along with the maintainers, cooks operate out of the CTCP to ensure Dragon soldiers get two hot meals delivered every day.
Each meal is prepared at a precise time so that no meal is cold by the time it reaches a soldier.
The distribution and transportation platoons are responsible for a wide range of tasks supporting Dragon needs. They provide ammunition, fuel and water, receive expended rounds and more.
“When something needs (to be) refueled (or) resupplied, we go get it,” said1st Lt. Deric Stokes, the Gamblers executive officer. “That’s basically our job, to keep this battalion moving.”
Tacoma, Wash., native, Sgt. Christopher Young, a Gambler petroleum supply specialist said fuel is a hot commodity, because everything the battalion needs moves by fuel.
“If you don’t have what you need to push the battalion forward to support the mission, then you really are just stuck,” Young added.
The battalion can have working vehicles, but if they do not eat, they won’t fulfill their mission, Young explained.
“We give them their food. We give them their ammo to shoot. We fix their vehicles,” said Stokes, a South Bend, Ind., native.
Benjamin said learning from experience and correcting mistakes made during training exercises can prevent problems from arising in combat.
“We have to get supplies to the warfighters, the ones on the front lines.” Benjamin said. “If we don’t get (supplies) out there to them, they fail their mission. If they fail their mission, it causes us to lose lives on the battlefield.”
Date Posted:10.16.2013 12:16
Location:FORT HOOD, TX, US
Hometown:GIRARD, OH, US
Hometown:HOUSTON, TX, US
Hometown:ORANGEBURG, SC, US
Hometown:OXNARD, CA, US
Hometown:POTEET, TX, US
Hometown:SALEM, OR, US
Hometown:SOUTH BEND, IN, US
Hometown:TACOMA, WA, US