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    56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team stages vehicles at Yermo Railhead

    56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team stages vehicles at Yermo Railhead

    Photo By Cpl. Hannah Baker | Sgt. Steven Newcomb, a motor transport operator with the 121st Transportation Company,...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Hannah Baker 

    109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    YERMO, Calif. - Soldiers from the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, stage their Stryker at the railhead here Aug. 20, in preparation to transport them back to Pennsylvania.

    1st Lt. Kamile Varol, an armor officer with 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, said this was the last big step for his unit to complete annual training.

    “Right now it’s one big push to get everything out of the motor pool at RUBA (the Rotational Unit Bivouac Area) and into Yermo,” said Varol. RUBA is part of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, approximately 35 miles northeast of Yermo.

    Varol, a Mt. Laurel, New Jersey resident, said the biggest challenge for the unit was ensuring every vehicle met the standards for proper maintenance, cleaning, inspection, and fuel levels before delivering them to Yermo. Strykers are eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicles capable of traversing a multitude of terrain conditions, including the harsh desert terrain encountered at NTC.

    Varol said a reoccurring issue concerning the Strykers was tire wear and tear from the austere desert environment. Damaged tires needed to be repaired before the vehicles could be transported to the Yermo Annex Railhead, which is part of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow.

    Once the Strykers are cleared at the Rotational Unit Field Maintenance Area (RUFMA) at RUBA, Soldiers of the 56th SBCT convoyed the vehicles from Fort Irwin to the Yermo railhead, the largest railhead in the Department of Defense.

    Here, Marines work full-time at the railhead teaching the Railhead Operations Group Training Course to Soldiers. The course provides students in related occupational fields with the necessary knowledge, confidence and experience to conduct railhead operations for military movement.

    Students in these courses assist the Marines in running the rail yard and training Guardsmen to prepare and load the rail cars themselves.

    Spc. Steven Vice, a Reading, Pennsylvania resident and signal support specialist with the 104th Cavalry Regiment, 56th SBCT, was one of the Soldiers assisting with railhead operations.

    “Not a lot of people get to experience this,” said Vice. “I know it has a reputation for being a tough thing, so being able to say that I was out here and got to experience it. I’ll keep that with me probably for the rest of my life.”

    The Strykers will be delivered to Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg in Hampden Township, Pennsylvania, which is approximately 2500 miles northeast of Yermo. The train ride is expected to last five days.



    Date Taken: 08.20.2018
    Date Posted: 08.22.2018 01:25
    Story ID: 289729
    Location: FORT IRWIN, CA, US 
    Hometown: MOUNT LAUREL, NJ, US
    Hometown: READING, PA, US

    Web Views: 340
    Downloads: 0