News: Transportation soldiers provide a unique role in responsible drawdown of forces in Iraq
Story by 1st Lt. Ronnie Patrick
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq- Soldiers from with the 319th Transportation Company, 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), returned to Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, Sept. 6, from a three-month liaison officer (LNO) team mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.
Four transportation soldiers from the 319th Trans. Co. formed the LNO teams which that supported deploying and redeploying troops. They provided direct assistance to the 240th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, from the 224th Sust. Bde, 103rd ESC. One of the many missions of the 240th CSSB was assisting in, helping to reduceing U.S. forces to 50,000 by Sept. 1.
To help facilitate the drawdown, they began working with LNO teams from the 224th Sust. Bde., and United States Divisions-North, Central, and South. These LNO teams were tasked with intra-theater movement and redeployment with the intent of maintaining self-sufficient teams.
Each of the four soldiers played a unique role in this mission. Staff Sgt. Andrew Gardelle, assigned as a liaison officer coordinator with the 319th Trans. Co., and a Jacksonville, Fla., native, was tasked with a variety of responsibilities essential to the reduction of U.S. forces. He also provided oversight of deployment and redeployment operations, air- security forces for civilian contracted aircrafts going outbound, and the transportation movement section.
Spc. Dylan Claxton, a heavy wheel vehicle operator with the 319th Trans. Co., and a Tampa, Fla., native, worked as an LNO in the deployment and redeployment operations office at Al Asad Air Base. He assisted in the revamping of the redeployment process and was responsible for tracking, monitoring and posting time-sensitive flight data that contributed to the accomplishment of the U.S. forces’ drawdown deadline.
Spc. Daniel Womack, a heavy wheel vehicle operator with the 319th Trans. Co., and a Vero Beach, Fla., native, worked as an LNO who monitored three different tracking systems on a daily basis. He also communicated with air- security forces for civilian contracted aircrafts’ outbound clearance for the return of passengers returning to the continental United States (CONUS), thus ensuring the safe departure of over 21,400 redeploying soldiers.
Pfc. 1st Class Shayne Perdue, a supply clerk with the 319th Trans. Co., and a Pittsburgh, Pa., native, worked as an LNO assisting assisted the transportation movement section by monitoring the reception and bulletins of pre-coordinated transportation movement requests. She ensured that aircraft baggage and personnel weight were within airlines’ regulations for CONUS travel.
“I really enjoyed my time at Al Asad. I had fun learning new and different aspects of transportation,” Perdue said.
Her attention to detail and adhering to strict airline regulations contributed to the timely departures of inbound and outbound flights.
“The company will be proud of these soldiers knowing they did an outstanding job at Al Asad Air Base,” Gardelle said.