News: Roadwarriors compete in annual truck rodeo
By: Spc. Christiana Bankole
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The Road Warriors, soldiers of 15th Transportation Company, 749th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, participated in the unit’s annual, week-long truck rodeo at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq.
Each day, the Road Warriors competed in trucking events, which varied by the vehicle driven by each platoon. The platoons used vehicles such as the heavy-equipment truck and the M915 Line Haul truck.
Sgt. 1st Class Jemese Cruz, a senior truck master with 15th Transportation Company, and a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, coordinated the daily schedule of events with the help of the company’s operations team.
“I felt satisfied with the overall turnout of the truck rodeo,” Cruz said. “Despite missions and tasking, we were able to put all events together and execute.”
The truck rodeo featured 21 events, including the serpentine course, tire changing, load tie-down drills, hasty recoveries, straight-line backing, and written training. Several relay events tested skills and encouraged friendly competition.
Sgt. Kale Baldwin, a heavy equipment transporter with 15th Transportation Company, and a Wetumka, Okla., native, said the truck rodeo definitely sharpened the soldiers’ abilities as truck drivers.
“Soldiers were challenged to have prior knowledge of their equipment and how to properly use it,” Baldwin said, who also was one of the judges in charge of safety and making sure soldiers paid attention to detail during the event.
Visitors from the 749th CSSB stopped by throughout the week to show their support for the competitors. Command Sgt. Maj. Paulo Vaka, the command sergeant major of the 749th CSSB and a native of Palo Alto, Calif., said events like the truck rodeo are great training tools for soldiers.
“It’s always excellent to see soldiers training for what they’re going to do outside the wire,” Vaka said. “It’s fine to have down time, but too much down time can lead to trouble, so it’s good to be training.”
First Lt. Daniel Reep, the executive officer for the 15th Transportation Company, and a native of Oxford, Miss., said the rodeo was an awesome event for soldiers to build camaraderie among their peers in the area of transportation.
“The annual truck rodeo gave us a chance to have fun, while performing our annual recertification of all of our drivers,” Reep said. “Overall, the events brought teams together and built espirit de corps.”