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    Transportation Company prepares to haul it

    Transportation Company prepares to haul it

    Photo By Sgt. Rob Cooper | Members of the Army Reserve's 445th Transportation Company relax before their upcoming...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Rob Cooper 

    Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

    CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. — Hauling goods from one point to another may not seem all that glamorous, but for coalition forces across the world, it's a critical need. Particularly in Iraq, where current U.S. policy is shifting focus from war-fighting to sustainment operations, moving Soldiers and equipment out of previous areas of operations will now become a crucial step in troop draw-downs.

    Meeting these transportation demands are members of the Iowa Army Reserve's 445th Transportation Company, who recently wrapped up mandatory training in preparation for deployment to Iraq this month. Under the command of Maj. Travis Smith, the unit will serve as a medium truck company tasked with transporting fuel and personnel throughout the Iraqi theater. Among those being transported are members of the Iraqi security forces, which Smith said was very important to future operations in Iraq.

    "I think the critical part is that the Iraqi government focuses more on the logistics part of getting [their security forces] into the places that we are vacating," Smith said. "We're trained and ready to succeed in that mission."

    As part of the training in preparation for the deployment, the unit spent the month of May at Fort McCoy, Wis., where Soldiers trained on basic task training such as rifle marksmanship, land navigation and weapons system familiarization. In June, the unit gathered at Camp Atterbury for mission-specific training designed to prepare them for transportation operations.

    Sgt. 1st Class Klint Knock, a truck master with the 445th, said that he was pleased with the training given here. While at Camp Atterbury, the 445th logged more than 11,000 miles in training miles alone with no accidents or injuries.

    "The trainers at Atterbury did an excellent job teaching us [tactical operations center] operations as well as how to run actual transportation missions," Knock said. "We even did some basic defense exercises, which were pretty helpful."

    The unit, which includes more than 150 Soldiers, isn't only from Iowa; among the unit's members are Army Reserve Soldiers from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.

    "We're kind of a pieced together unit," said the unit's first sergeant, Kenneth Pfiffner. "We've got personnel from a number of states, so we're spending a lot of time getting to know each other and continuing to develop a cohesive unit," he said.

    Some Soldiers are even bringing their loved ones along for the deployment. "It's like a family here, Pfiffner said." "We've got four married couples in the unit and one brother-sister combination."

    Despite the notion that deploying with a spouse or sibling might get in the way of the mission, Smith was quick to discredit that and said having family is somewhat of an advantage.

    "We're very family-oriented because of our couples, which will bring an edge to the mission," Smith said. "I think it will help things be a bit more stable with the Soldier's spouse or family member over there. It should help the entire company; it's a whole company support system."

    In addition to family members, Knock said that approximately 70 percent of the unit includes previously-deployed veterans, a factor that has many of its members anxious to deploy back to where they once served.

    "Some of our vets are looking forward to seeing the progress in Iraq," Smith said. "I'm curious as well about all the changes that have happened. It's going to be quite an experience for those guys as well as myself."

    Knock, who deployed in 2004, echoed his commander's sentiments and said that seeing progress in Iraq is one reason he's looking forward to his deployment. "Hopefully, things have improved over there," he said, adding, "I'm just hoping that we stay busy and have plenty to do!"



    Date Taken: 07.14.2009
    Date Posted: 07.14.2009 00:03
    Story ID: 36322
    Location: CAMP ATTERBURY, IN, US 

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