News: Inland Cargo Transfer Company looks ahead to drawdown
Story by Sgt. Keith Vanklompenberg
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq — The 1st Inland Cargo Transfer Company out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, has taken over the Central Receiving and Shipping Point at Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq, to assist with the upcoming drawdown of troops and equipment from theater.
"Our mission is to deploy and redeploy units," said Sgt. 1st Class Waldemar Paoli, the first sergeant of the 1st ICTC, 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
Paoli, a Yauco, Puerto Rico, native, said his unit, which took control of the CRSP yard Jan. 29, will act as the middleman between Contingency Operating Base Q-West and bases in central and southern Iraq, working 24 hours a day to process all incoming and outgoing cargo.
"We are still the gateway for the small [bases]," he said.
As the responsible drawdown of personnel and equipment draws nearer, the 1st ICTC's mission will intensify.
"It's definitely going to get busier for us," said Spc. Richard Rymer, a cargo specialist with the 1st ICTC and a Visalia, Calif., native.
Rymer said he looks forward to completing the mission and participating in the drawdown.
"It feels good being a part of history," he said.
Both Rymer and Paoli are on their third deployment.
Paoli said he came to Iraq in 2003, moving the first assets from Kuwait to Camp Cedar, Iraq, and has now come full circle, moving assets out of the country.
"I see the big picture now," he said. "I'm proud knowing, somehow, I was part of the changes for this country."
In addition to the CRSP yard, Paoli and his Soldiers run the Empty Container Control Point, where units drop off unused containers and pick up extra containers when it comes time to redeploy.
They also assist the movement control teams in the area by managing transportation movement requests on base.
Dealing with a variety of missions and the uncertainty of their future is a challenge, said Paoli.
"We don't know if we're going to be here in six months; the mission could change," he said.
Paoli said his Soldiers understand the need for adaptability during this time of change for the country.
"Whatever mission we might be challenged with, we are trained for," he said.