News: Maintainers train in logistical convoy operations
Story by Sgt. Joshua Laidacker
FORT STEWART, Ga. – Soldiers of Distribution Platoon, Company D, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, attached to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th IBCT, conducted logistical convoy training on Fort Stewart, Ga., June 25.
The logistical convoy, known as a logistical package, or LOGPAC, training included an ammunition pick-up; an instructional class on dispensing fuel; a mission to resupply fuel to soldiers on patrol; an ammunition resupply mission as well as training on a small crane. There were also many sub-tasks of the patrol such as driving on secondary roads, map reading, vehicle operation and radio communication training.
During the training, soldiers also cross-trained with other combat support sections in order to make a more efficient platoon.
Sgt. Roderick Booker, a petroleum supply specialist with 703rd BSB, known as the Maintain Battalion, gave the soldiers a brief class on how to dispense fuel to ground vehicles.
Booker said it’s important for everyone in the platoon to know how to operate the equipment because they may need to at some point. He added the training covered all of the fundamentals in accordance with the manual.
“You have to teach them the steps of how to issue it, as well as how to gauge the trucks and keep up with the fuel accountability using our paperwork,” said Booker, a native of Valdosta, Ga.
Although the roads of the training area were quite muddy the morning of the training, it didn’t seem to slow the convoy down much, even though there’s always a chance a truck might have difficulties making it through.
“When you get to drive through the mud … it gets interesting because you’re looking at the truck in front of you wondering if they’re going to get stuck,” Booker said.
During the material handling equipment training, the group of nine “Maintainers” used a small crane, which is mounted on the tail end of an M1084 standard cargo truck, to load, unload and reposition a palette of ammunition.
“We went over some crane training which is something I’ve never done,” said Booker. “There’re a lot of safety concerns with that.”
Staff Sgt. Jason Adams, the platoon sergeant and a motor transport operator with Company D, said the platoon does many of the tasks on a regular basis. He added it’s important to take time to train to standard to ensure the best out of his soldiers, so they can think on the “how” and “why” of their actions.
Adams, a native of Gainesville, Ga., emphasized the amount of time that goes by without training or using the equipment can be up from four to five months after a soldiers return from a combat tour, reset equipment and personnel, and take leave.
“By that time, in your head, you think you know everything that you knew when you left Afghanistan, but really, honestly you don’t,” said Adams.
“When you get to train on something as a group, it just brings it together and makes everyone think about what’s going on,” he added.