News: Canadian Military for convoy mission
CANADIAN FORCES BASE PETAWAWA, ONTARIO– Five Soldiers from the 131st Transportation Company, part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, delivered vehicles from Lieutenant-Colonel George T. Denison III Armory, Toronto, here on Aug. 13, 2012.
The mission from Petawawa to Toronto continued the support of the mission STEADFAST WARRIOR, a joint training exercise between elements of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and the 32 Canadian Brigade Group.
“I know in theatre we do a lot of blended operations,” said Capt. Jacquie Field, G4 Logistics officer for the 32 CBG, and a Sudbury, Ontario native. “I know in theatre we do a lot of blended operations. For the central region, or where we are from, I don’t know that we have ever had Americans lift-stuff for us before. So, to me that was an inaugural kind of thing.”
For the 131st Trans. Company, this is business normal, said Sgt. Jorge Aviles, a team leader for first platoon of the 131st Trans. Company, and a Woodlynne, N.J. native.
“The 131st is often tasked to transport large equipment like Humvees and Bradleys across Pennsylvania that made this mission very similar,” he said. On arrival to Petawawa the 131st trucks carried equipment for the Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers conducting the training with Canadians like water buffaloes, generators, conexes, and more.
The preparation not only for the movement to Canada, but to get clearance for the three trucks to move to Toronto needed approval not only through the American side, but the Canadian side too, said Field.
“So Maj. Turner [PAARNG] said to me, ‘Can I make it happen? I’ve got a great group of guys.’ I think so, and then I talked to my boss, I think so,” said Field.
The next step was a call placed to Field’s higher headquarters to her deputy commander, and to alert all the individuals needed to help support the movement, she said.
“Then it was dealing with people repairing our vehicles to make sure that they were ready to lift,” she said. “And, then when that kind of stuff was taken care of, you guys did your business and we stayed out of your way.”
Transporting the large 915A5 Freightliners across Canada offered its own challenges from the states, said Spc. Mary Ann Davis, a motor transport operator with the 131st Trans. Co., and a Chambersburg, Pa. native. “The roads are a little different, a little smoother.”
Securing the Light Support Vehicle Wheeled to the trailers of the freightliners offered their own challenges, said Aviles. With the style of the vehicle different from an American Humvee, it was a chance for the newer members of the unit to experience the challenge.
“There are a few different ways to chain equipment down to a trailer,” he said. “I prefer to harness the vehicle by its axle to eliminate the chance that the vehicle will bounce or move and loosen the chain.”
To Staff Sgt. Kelly Eitreim, acting convoy commander for the Toronto Mission and squad leader for first platoon, 131st Trans. Co., and a Garretson, S.D. native, the mission’s success was based on the time element too. Arriving in Toronto on Sunday evening and leaving before rush hour prevented the trucks from getting bogged down in traffic.
No such problems occurred, and the three trucks arrived back at Petawawa from Toronto in under six-hours.
“I’m not just saying this but it also comes from Sergeant Major [Master Warrant Officer] Dumas as well, ‘they are consummate professionals, very positive and energetic,’” said Field. “You can tell that they are specialists in their field, I believe 28 minutes is what [Staff] sergeant Eitreim said it took to unload their trucks.”
With their trucks unloaded and more work to be done back in the states, the soldiers from the 131st Transportation Company boarded their trucks and made the journey back to the United States set to return to collect the equipment upon completion of the exercise.
Date Posted:08.29.2012 16:55
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