News: 203rd ICTC soldiers know how to move it!
Story by Spc. Charlotte Fitzgerald
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. – With several different units transferring in and out of the Combat Support Training Exercise 91 12-01 area of operation during July 2012, one unit is charged with moving all of the containers and equipment around the shipping and receiving yard.
Sgt. Sara McMillin said the 203rd Inland Cargo Transportation Company, based in Arden Hills, Minn., is in their third week of training and their mission is to support all of the units participating within the exercise. The CSTX plays a part in the Army Force Generation model by training soldiers in a field-type environment to mimic life on a deployment overseas.
“We have a lot of young soldiers in our unit,” said McMillin, a Coon Rapids, Minn., native and assistant squad leader with the 203rd ICTC. “The experience they have had during this training has been very beneficial.”
McMillin said the unit utilizes various types of forklifts and trucks to move the large pieces of equipment. They are responsible for loading and unloading military vehicles and containers. The transportation company also facilitates and ensures other companies get their equipment.
“The 88 Mikes [motor transport operators] are learning how to strap down the equipment properly while the 88 Hotels [cargo specialists] are learning how to move everything around,” she said.
Participating in this exercise not only prepares the unit for future deployments, it also provides a great opportunity for seasoned soldiers to teach younger soldiers the tricks of the trade, said McMillin.
“The hotels are using this time to learn the hand signals for the mikes and the mikes are learning which hand signals to use for the hotels,” she said. “The soldiers have had to learn how to work together and that has been paramount to building a cohesive unit.”
McMillin said that if their unit deployed, they would be responsible for the shipping and receiving yard wherever they went, so the ability to train soldiers on the different pieces of equipment is vital.
“We are building more of a cohesive unit and we are learning how to properly run a shipping and receiving yard,” said McMillin. “This CSTX has been very beneficial training.”