By 1st Lt. Herbert Karg
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Soldiers from the 716th Quartermaster Company, 80th Ordnance Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) got a visit from Maj. Gen. Dean Sienko and Command Sgt. Maj. James Lambert, the commander and senior non-commissioned officer of the 3rd Medical Command respectively, at the Joint Base Balad Amnesty Yard, Dec.17.
The amnesty yard serves as a recycling and redistribution point for northern Iraq. Units can drop off excess equipment at the yard by appointment, or on designated amnesty days. Soldiers will then sort through the equipment, and separate it by serviceability. If the items are serviceable, they will be put back into the Army system which ultimately saves the Army money, said Capt. James Beck, the commander of the 716th Quartermaster Company and native of Butler, Pa.
"The amnesty yard has the highest concentration of our soldiers working there, and they like what they do and they know they are making a difference," Beck said.
Sienko and Lambert, both members of the U.S. Army Reserves, wanted to meet with Reserve Soldiers while visiting Joint Base Balad. Their mission was to find out how the Reserve Command could better serve its Soldiers.
They asked questions regarding yellow ribbon events, rear detachment involvement, family readiness, and other issues concerning Soldiers in the Army Reserves.
"I am a close friend of the [chief of the Army Reserve] and he is a good man, and he is all about helping Soldiers and their families," said Sienko at a luncheon, Dec 17.
The stop at the Amnesty Yard was just one of many stops on the agenda for the general. The command team planned to meet with five Army Reserve units stationed at Joint Base Balad.
"We were happy to receive the general and the command sergeant major," said Beck. "I think they were able to do what they came here to do and I'm proud to say that our unit was a part of that."
Sienko and Lambert will report back to Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve, on their visit to Iraq taking with them the comments and concerns made by the Reserve Soldiers here at Joint Base Balad.