By Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Doheny
SAMARRA, Iraq -- Acting as the "heartbeat" for the No Slack Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, a group of unsung heroes are sustaining the battalion's operations in Samarra.
Without daily recognition, these Soldiers roll around in oil and grease, pots and pans, sweat and dust; all to keep their No Slack brothers "in the fight."
The "Executioners" of the Forward Support Company don't ask for much. Their uniforms show it all. The grease mixed with sweat and dust shows everything that needs to be said about these Soldiers.
Underneath a Mine Resistant Armor Protecting vehicle, an FSC Soldier may be laying on his back servicing a transmission. Another Soldier may be preparing a pallet of supplies to push out to Patrol Base Olson or Joint Security Station Love in Samarra. Another Soldier feels the sweat beading down her face as the temperature rises in the dining facility as she prepares the dinner chow.
These are the images of the FSC Soldier.
"It isn't an easy task to support all four of the organic infantry companies as well as all the other attachments operating here," said Capt. Roy Horikawa, FSC commander. "The Soldiers of this company do whatever it takes to sustain, feed, arm and transport the force."
The Soldiers of FSC are comprised of many different elements and job skills.
According to Horikawa, who is Ranger qualified and has an infantry background, his company provides more services than just fixing vehicles and preparing meals. He said his Soldiers are a combat multiplier that fits the mold of a combat service support Soldier in a counter-insurgency fight.
"In the counter-insurgency fight, each Soldier is expected to do much more than their primary job," he said. "Yes, my Soldiers are ultimately supporting the war fighters, but they have to adapt a 'warrior' mentality. They have accomplished this by changing the mentality of the 'common' CSS Soldier. We have instilled a fight-first, job-second mentality, and they have adapted well."
The No Slack battalion and its attachments are conducting operations in the city of Samarra at different locations.
In the past, if a vehicle needed maintenance, the respective unit would have had to drive on the precarious roads in and around the city to Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora, where the company is headquartered.
Being mindful of quick-response customer support, Horikawa decided to place small teams at these locations to provide services, previously only found at a larger FOB.
Having these assets available to them, the Soldiers at each location travel less to Brassfield-Mora, which ultimately reduces the risk taken by traveling on the roads.
"We pushed out some of our cooks and maintainers to certain locations, to allow the Soldiers in the city more time to concentrate on missions in Samarra," said Horikawa.
"There are now fewer patrols to Brassfield-Mora for maintenance or resupply. These Soldiers can service them in the city."
Horikawa said his Soldiers and non-commissioned officers have gained valuable experience here in Iraq. He said the experience they have been able to attain is unobtainable in any training environment, and attributes the company's success to the hard work of his Soldiers.
"My NCOs, Soldiers and junior leaders have accepted these challenges and stepped up to the plate," he said. "They know they are making a difference in this fight. They know that the battalion is identifying where the threat is and protecting the Iraqi population."
This work, No respite for unsung heroes of No Slack Battalion, by MSG Kevin Doheny, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.