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    Troop Command commands success during deployment



    Story by Sgt. Rob Cooper 

    Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

    by Rob Cooper

    CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. -- Modularity is the name of the game when it comes to a modern Army as unconventional tactics and warfare require adjustments to conventional structure. With that in mind, the Army's Movement Control Teams are provided to ensure modularity on the battlefield through ground and air support.

    Among these groups that are currently supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is the 657th Troop Command, Belleville, Ill., which returned to American soil in early August after a 12-month deployment in Balad, Iraq. After spending 10 weeks at Camp Atterbury to prepare for their deployment, the 17-person Army Reserve unit deployed in-theater to Camp Anaconda, a large U.S. base near Balad.

    During the deployment, the 657th was assigned to support the 49th Movement Control Team, which oversaw in and out-processing of shipments from both air and ground. While supporting the movement control mission was the unit's primary focus, the 657th also split themselves into five separate areas in order to better support other tasks. The tasks included freight hauling from Iraq to Kuwait, convoy contact with the base's Highway Traffic Division and management of the movement control's civilian employees.

    The unit also provided transportation analysis to officials, ranging from weather intelligence, monthly incident reports, movement delays and transportation asset databases.

    "We were busy, but it's amazing what can be accommodated seven days a week, 16 hours a day for an entire year," said 657th Commander Maj. Todd Lewis,

    Among their greatest accomplishments, however, was the unit's implementation of a Transportation Analysis Branch within the base's Expeditionary Sustainment Command. According to Lewis, the 657th was the first unit to ever accomplish this task, which he attributed to the efforts of his entire group.

    "We have a lot of sharp, experienced leaders," Lewis said. "It's interesting because we were split up, yet able to stay in close communications, which is indicative of our front line leaders. We definitely left it better than we found it."

    Lewis said that the deployment taught him and his Soldiers a valuable lesson, both as an individual and as a team.

    "This mission forced me to be better than I've been before in the 24 years I've been in," he said. "If anything, it taught me that you shouldn't cheat yourself (by) not learning something new. Things were constantly changing when we got there, and it teaches you to be extra flexible."

    Looking back, Lewis said that the deployment was an overall success.

    "My primary goal was to deploy and return home with all 17 of us, and everything else was secondary," he said. "Mission accomplished."



    Date Taken: 08.23.2007
    Date Posted: 08.23.2007 14:17
    Story ID: 11949
    Location: CAMP ATTERBURY, IN, US 

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