News: Soldiers transport cargo during night time operations
Story by Sgt. Gregory Williams
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan - Soldiers with the 25th Transportation Company transported cargo and multi-class items to Forward Operating Base Pasab, Aug. 30, 2012.
The 25th TC sustains soldiers in the field serving under the Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan by delivering mail, supplies, multi class items, ammunition and military vehicles during night time tactical operations.
The soldiers prepared for the mission by conducting various battle field drills varying from reaction to small arms fire, to vehicular breakdown procedures.
“We have to learn how to think ahead and how to anticipate delays we may face out on the road,” said Staff Sgt. Steven P. Maui, a convoy commander with the 25th TC.
“It’s a collective effort to make sure the mission is complete because the routes and terrain is tough out here.”
Maui said even though he’s been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, he considers Afghanistan to be more difficult because routes are considerably more dangerous.
Spc. Jonae T. Blackwell, a truck driver with the 25th TC, said it’s very important for soldiers to pay extra attention to their surrounding environment during the night.
“We all have to be more alert at night, especially the gunners, because it their job to look for shadows so they can get positive identification on whatever’s out there,” Blackwell said. “We don’t want to cause any unnecessary damage so attention to detail is critical to the mission success.”
After a two hour trip, the convoy headed to the crisp yard to offload its cargo, which consisted of six loads of multi-class items and mail.
Maui said it’s important to get mail to troops because hearing from a loved one can raise morale and help Soldiers focus out in the battlefield.
“Being a truck driver, I understand both sides of the coin because I used to be in field artillery so I know how important stuff like mail is.” Maui said, “I remember that great feeling of seeing the transportation people during my eight years in artillery.”
After unloading its cargo, the 25th TC picked up two battle damaged vehicles and other retrograde equipment, which would be returned to the United States for reset.
The RESET process takes used vehicles, inspects them and replaces anydefective parts refurbishing the equipment to like-new condition.
To work more efficiently, Soldiers paired off into teams of two’s as one Soldier would hold a flashlight while the other would secure the cargo straps.
After the group finished securing its load, the convoy moved out and finished its mission two hours ahead of schedule.
Blackwell said after completing more than 70 convoy missions, she takes pride in helping sustain troops in the field who don’t have the same amenities as those who stay on a base.
“I would say this mission has been a big wakeup call helping me to learn and live all the Army values,” Blackwell said. “The Army is one big family and we don’t mind going out of our way to help and supply other units.”