News: MRT opens gates for day of amnesty turn-in
Story by Spc. Amy Christopherson
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq – With the eventual goal of withdrawing all troops and equipment out of Iraq, the Material Redistribution Team facility at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, opened its gates Oct. 8 for an amnesty turn-in day.
The yard, which is operated by the 1729th Forward Support Maintenance Company, 749th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, gave units one day to drop off excess equipment without an appointment.
This equipment, which is often not on the units’ official property books, has been accumulated over the last eight years and passed down from unit to unit as they passed through Iraq. Normally, a unit wishing to turn equipment in to the MRT yard would have to make an appointment, and workers would have to inspect and sort the equipment before the drop-off.
“But today you can bring what you have and we will take what we can, and if we can’t take it, we’ll try to direct you to a place that can,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Roskam, the officer-in-charge of the MRT with the 1729th FSMC, and a Severna Park, Md., native.
Soldiers lined up their trucks outside the gates early in the morning, eager to dispense of their excess equipment as COB Adder prepares to close over the next couple of months.
After the turn-in, items were sorted depending on whether they were new, serviceable or repairable, then they were sent to Kuwait for redistribution to other areas of operation.
“When I arrived to work at six this morning, there were already 15 trucks lined up outside of the gate, and we don’t even open until 7 a.m.,” Roskam said. “We’re trying to help with the push to get everyone out of here.”
The 1729th FSMC estimated the average value of each container turned in at the MRT to be about $50,000. In the week before the turn-in day, the facility had accepted 21 of these containers.
They accepted even more than that on amnesty day.
“If we didn’t do this, all this equipment would be lost,” Roskam said. “It would all be wasted money.”
The unit operates other MRT yards in Iraq, with fixed facilities at Al Asad Air Base and Contingency Operating Base Kalsu and mobile teams at Basra and Contingency Operating Station Echo.