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    1041st Transportation Company puts in the miles at Dugway

    1041st Transportation Company puts in the miles at Dugway

    Photo By Joseph Siemandel | A soldier with the 792nd Chemical Company practicing military vehicle decontamination...... read more read more



    Story by Joseph Siemandel  

    Joint Force Headquarters - Washington National Guard

    Established in 1942, Dugway Proving Ground in Utah has empowered the nation's chemical and biological professionals against persistent and evolving threats. One of the Army's premier science and test facilities, Dugway has supported training for military and first responders. That is why the 420th Chemical Battalion selected the unique training area for its annual training.

    However, moving an entire battalion and their operations from Washington state to Utah is not a small feat and relies heavily on coordination and logistics support. That is where the “Road Chiefs” of the 1041st Transportation Company shine the brightest.

    “The soldiers were highly motivated and enthusiastic about the mission,” said 1st Sgt. Travis Bassett, 1041st Transportation Company senior non-commissioned officer. “I heard a lot of, ‘this is why we joined, to drive.’”

    No stranger to interstate annual training opportunities, the unit has participated in multiple Operation Nationwide Move exercises and last year went to Fort Harrison, Montana to conduct the unit’s largest training exercise in years. The 1041st was tasked to haul all of the battalion’s vehicles and equipment from Spokane and Yakima to Dugway Proving Grounds Utah including HMMWVs, FMTVs, water buffalos and other CBRNE decontamination equipment.

    “Soldiers drove more than 1,000 miles each way, over the course of two days, in order to get the equipment where it needed to be in a timely manner,” said Bassett.

    While at Dugway the “Road Chiefs” conducted training that included driver’s training and licensing for new soldiers. Soldiers were also able to take part in the CBRNE training with the rest of the battalion, including both classroom and hands on chemical and biological lab training. Introductory in nature, soldiers were taught how to identify different types of labs that might be producing and manufacturing homemade explosives, narcotics or chemical warfare agents by analyzing things such as precursor chemicals or lab set ups.

    “We also learned how to conduct military vehicle decontamination,” said Bassett. “Being transportation soldiers assigned to a chemical battalion, this training was instrumental in helping soldiers become aware of the work their peers do and learn about situations they could encounter in the future.”

    During their 2022 annual training, the soldiers in the 1041st Transportation Company drove more than 2,000 miles and traveled through Washington, Idaho and Utah, safely and without incident.

    “When I first got to this unit, the resounding theme that I heard from our soldiers was they didn’t get an opportunity to drive enough so that’s where we focused our efforts,” said Bassett. “These out of State training opportunities not only get us on the road driving but also provides training opportunities to our new soldiers that involve vehicle recovery missions, convoy operations and preventative maintenance, something they may or may not get during a typical drill weekend.”

    The company commander, Capt. Luis Torres echoes the same sentiment as his senior enlisted member.

    “These young soldiers want to be challenged and want some adventure. Many soldiers have never been to Utah or out of the state and this is exactly why they joined the National Guard,” said Torres. “This mission was a great opportunity to get the entirety of the company together, post COVID-19 training shutdowns to exercise our mission essential tasks while increasing unit morale and cohesiveness.”

    The next two annual trainings will continue to push soldiers and practice their mission essential tasks. The unit will take part in a Mission Support Force Tasking which will travel across nine states and more than 4,000 miles of driving.



    Date Taken: 06.28.2022
    Date Posted: 06.28.2022 14:20
    Story ID: 423956
    Location: CAMP MURRAY, WA, US 

    Web Views: 327
    Downloads: 0