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    659th Maintenance Company supports Operation Clean Sweep

    659th Maintenance Company supports Operation Clean Sweep

    Courtesy Photo | Soldiers of the 659th Maintenance Company, 620th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion,...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

    AL ASAD AIRBASE, Iraq — In the past month soldiers from the 659th Maintenance Company, 620th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 96th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) were relocated to Camp Al Asad, Iraq, to clear out an 88 acre class IV yard. The mission is part of Operation Clean Sweep.

    The yard was full of various amounts of bulk items and containers that filled majority of the area. Bulk items filled about seventy acres of the Class IV yard to include plastic piping, steel piping, metal piping, fencing, spools and lumber. Soldiers were also responsible for cleaning and repacking containers that contained various construction and HAZMAT materials. "I couldn't believe how much stuff was on this yard," said Spc. Russell Foskett, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the company and a Fayetteville, N.C., native. "I honestly didn't know where we would start." The containers took up around 18 acres of the class IV yard. Some of the more common materials that were repacked in the containers included barbed wire, barbed wire pickets, razor wire and bags of concrete.

    On a daily basis, the 659th soldiers work eight hour shifts cleaning containers, repacking containers, and re-banding bulk items that are scattered throughout the yard. Each shift is responsible for cleaning containers and re-banding bulk items. Each shift is also responsible for blocking and bracing the containers that were ready to be put on a Transportation Movement Request. Additional tasks include re-banding bulk items in the yard and also consolidating bulk items that are ready to be put on a TMR. Each shift was also responsible for consolidating the containers that were ready for TMR and put on the staging line. Their typical nightly task consists of cleaning and re-packing containers.

    The key leaders also held very important roles towards the goals of clearing the class IV yard. The class IV yard officer in charge, 1st Lt. Brian Knotts, from Fayetteville, N.C., is in charge of the overall guidance on what goes on in the class IV yard on a daily basis. He is also in charge of requesting TMRs for the bulk items and the containers being shipped to JDC among other duties. "The mission so far has been a great success," said 1st Lt. Knotts. "The soldiers have stayed motivated to mission success and it has shown in the past month."

    "The 659th Maintenance Company soldiers continue to stay motivated and their efforts have shown. In the past month we have been able to ship out over five thousand pieces of plastic piping, over one-hundred-and-fifty bundles of fencing, thirty bundles of steel piping, two-hundred-and-fifty spools of cable, and over five-hundred bundles of lumber," said 1st Lt. Knotts. "We were also able to ship out over two-hundred containers to the Joint Distribution Center to be sent to Kuwait."

    According to Knotts, on average, over 20 containers are repacked and cleaned every night. When they are not dealing with containers, the night tasks include police calls and consolidating all the scrap metal and plastic to be sent to Defense Reutilization & Marketing Office. The scrap wood was also consolidated by the night crew to be sent to the landfill.

    Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Baker from Monroe, N.C., and Staff Sgt. Robert Nessen of Rupert, Ohio, hold key positions as noncommissioned officers in charge for the class IV yard. Baker said that the key responsibilities of the class IV yard NCOICs include supervising the moving parts in the yard, supervising the soldiers, and to making sure that the soldiers are maintaining the correct safety gear. The NCOICs also make sure that the correct items are being put on the flatbeds when convoys arrive to pick up TMRs.

    Sgt. Melvin Correa, a Puerto Rico native, also holds a key leadership position as the container manager. His daily responsibilities include staging the containers ready to be put on TMR, stage all the bulk items ready for TMR, and to receive and ship containers. "Working in the Class IV Yard was a great experience," said Correa, "The opportunities I had to work outside my military occupational specialty has furthered my knowledge in other areas of the military. I couldn't have asked for a better learning experience than what I have learned in the past month."

    Staff Sgt. Robert Nessen, a Rupert, Idaho resident, an Avenger system repairer, summed up his feelings about the soldier's efforts in supporting the mission by saying, "All the soldiers have done an outstanding job during the past month in Al Asad. Their hard work and dedication to mission success was vital to the key leaders meeting the goal of having the class IV yard cleared by month's end."



    Date Taken: 12.25.2009
    Date Posted: 12.25.2009 22:36
    Story ID: 43150
    Location: AL ASAD, IQ 

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