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    The 851st TC support Vibrant & Guardian Response


    Photo By Maj. Brandon Mace | U.S Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Ralph Salas, from the 851st Transportation Company,...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Brandon Mace 

    4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

    CAMP ATTERBERRY, Ind. – The 851st Transportation Company, based in Sinton, Texas, supported Guardian Response and Vibrant Response from Apr. 16 – May 14, 2017.

    Vibrant Response is an annual U.S. Northern Command Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Response Command Post Exercise bringing together service members and civilians from military, federal, and state agencies from throughout the continental United States for three weeks of collective training on responding to a catastrophic event. This year, Vibrant Response was combined with U.S. Forces Command's Guardian Response Exercise to enhance the overall readiness of the federal CBRN Response Enterprise.

    The 851st TC is currently identified as a Command and Control Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Response Element prepared to quickly respond to a catastrophic CBRN event in the United States.

    During this exercise, the 851st TC mission was the movement and delivery of supplies to locations in Camp Atterbury and the surrounding area.

    “We are the support to all the camps,” said U.S. Army Reserve 1st Sgt. Ralph Salas, the 851st TC first sergeant. “Whatever they need that we can put on our flat racks, we are going to move it.”

    Salas talked about how proud he was of his Soldiers motivation and desire to train.

    “We had a mission that came up and all of a sudden Soldiers are saying, 'hey I want to go!' I said, 'wait, didn’t you just come off of gate guard?' They are actually doing their jobs, getting their hands on, making their mistakes and they get to correct it. Its good, the Soldiers are loving it,” said Salas.

    The unit conducted a major convoy from their headquarters to the exercise, moving 28 tactical vehicles.

    “It was a total of 1,311 miles,” said Salas. “No accidents, no breakdowns, everything went beautiful.”

    U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Ramijio Gonzales, the 851st TC Motor Sergeant, was also very happy with the results of the convoy.

    “Oh the four-day convoy? It was awesome,” said Gonzales. “It was a great experience and a way to show proof that these vehicles can complete the mission.”

    As the unit’s motor sergeant, Gonzales oversees the maintenance of all of the unit’s vehicles and the training of the mechanics. He loved the opportunity to focus on maintenance training during this event.

    “During BA (Battle Assembly) we work on vehicles but not as much as we get to out here,” said Gonzales. “Being here is a great opportunity for these Soldiers. They got to learn how to weld, to use a plasma cutter, how to grind, and this is a trade that will help them in the civilian world. While they are out here I want them to get hands on everything.”

    U.S. Army Reserve Specialists Chris Pierce and Heather McLaughlin are wheeled vehicle mechanics with the 851st TC. As they worked on a M1075A1 Palletized Load System they talked about how much they were enjoying the training event.

    “I love it. I’m a mechanic in the civilian world, just the basic knowledge transfers into my civilian job,” said Pierce. “I think this is a very good training environment. We get to do a lot of things we do not get to do at home station.”

    “I love working. I love when it picks up and we have lots to take care of,” said McLaughlin. “We have to make sure everything can roll and is maintained. We are a vital part to keep everything ready and in good condition.”

    These training events prepare the unit for real-world missions. U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Ernest Castaneda, the 851st TC Executive Officer, was a medic in the Texas National Guard before he commissioned as an officer into the U.S. Army Reserve. He said this event did a great job simulating his real-world experience with the Texas National Guard.

    “We actually responded to Hurricane Rita, the hurricane that was right after Hurricane Katrina. Being Texas National Guard we responded,” said Castaneda. “We set up a clinic in the area for the troops and we supported all the camps in the area. I had interaction with FEMA and civilian EMTs.”

    The 851st Transportation Company is a part of the 211th Regional Support Group and the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The command is made up of Soldiers, civilians and their families in units headquartered throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. As part of America’s Army Reserve, these units are trained, combat-ready and equipped to provide military and logistical support in any corner of the globe.



    Date Taken: 04.25.2017
    Date Posted: 05.01.2017 14:29
    Story ID: 232143
    Location: CAMP ATTERBURY, IN, US 

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