News: Wranglers certify on MRAPs, prepare for closeout
Story by Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The leaders of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, are anticipating the final months of Operation New Dawn as they are fast approaching. As part of that pending deadline, they must continue preparing for potential requirements to drive out of the country, rather than fly.
The Wrangler Brigade has been responsible for sustainment operations and theater distribution throughout United States Division-South and USD-Central area since February this year.
“Distribution operations for our brigade could potentially expand in our final months, leaving us as the lone sustainment brigade and responsible for the entire country’s sustainment operations,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Britton, the executive officer and operations officer in charge.
Britton said the unit is preparing to leave country by sending Soldiers with the brigade’s staff and Special Troops Battalion to be certified to drive Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles.
“Flying out may not be an option,” he said. “Right now we are trying to facilitate our ability to drive south and conduct the final retrograde movement via MRAP vehicles.”
Soldiers have been going through the course week after week. The four-day course puts soldiers in the driver’s seat, forcing them to maneuver through obstacle courses and drive across the base both during the day and night.
They also learn to perform proper maintenance of the behemoth gun trucks and receive a refresher course on managing a rollover.
“This is really good training that we’re going through. Its point is to prepare us for the chance we have to drive out of Iraq,” said Pfc. Clifton Myers, a radio telephone operator with 4th Sust. Bde. operations office, and a Houston native.
Myers is assigned a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and five months into his deployment, his impression is that he could end up as a gunner on a potential final rendezvous. But with this training, much like all Wranglers getting certified, he’s capable of driving too.
“Whatever we have to do to finally leave,” said Myers.