News: 8th Ord. Co. continues aid with resupply missions
Story by: 1st Lt. Ryan Prete
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq— With the drawdown of U.S. forces across Iraq, ammunition is becoming an even more valuable commodity every day. The 8th Ordnance Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), maintains a large portion of the ammunition in theater.
Since late October, the Joint Base Balad, Iraq ammunition supply point has consistently been receiving emergency resupply requests from units throughout Iraq ranging in size from a pallet to an entire 20 foot military van.
Emergency resupply operations have required the Superbullet team to remain flexible and ready to execute at a moment’s notice since arriving on ground in late October. The ammo handlers of 1st Platoon completed 13 emergency shipments within the first three weeks of assuming control of the ammo supply point mission, and have completed more than 25 resupply missions to date.
“Speed, accuracy, teamwork and rehearsal are the keys to success when it comes to emergency shipments,” said Chief Warrant Officer Darrell Crim, ammunition accountable officer for the 8th Ord. Co., 13th CSSB.
The process of emergency resupply starts when the ASP receives a shipping order that is identified as urgent. Key personnel and material handling assets are quickly organized and prepared to pull, count and palletize all of the requested munitions.
All of the sections play an important role in preparing a shipment for immediate delivery.
“Condensing a two or three-day process into only a few hours requires a great deal of coordination and teamwork across all the sections,” said Sgt. Shane Kaiser, pre-pull section chief for the 8th Ord. Co. “When an emergency request comes in, it means that everyone stops what they are doing and focuses on that one load, because it needs to be counted, staged, palletized and moved.”
“Above all, it needs to be right the first time,” said Kaiser.
They remain motivated, even after working countless hours because their mission is a vital one.
“The bottom line is that someone out there needs what we have, and they need it right now,” said Crim. “These soldiers take a great deal of pride in their work and knowing that they have helped to take the fight to the enemy.”
The soldiers are working to become more proficient at palletizing and operations with material handling equipment in an effort to improve both operational efficiency and delivery time. They successfully conducted their first night operation a few weeks ago by loading several pallets of 155mm howitzer rounds into two CH-47’s bound for Marez, Iraq.