FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The convoy exits the gate of forward operating base Denver on its way to an outlying base over the rough terrain and maze of roads that crisscross the National Training Center. The convoy faces the threat of possible attacks by role-players acting as armed members of the local terror network, simulated roadside bombs and various scenarios the combat trainers might throw at it during travel.
Making sure supplies reach the soldiers and vital equipment is repaired is part of 2nd Brigade Support Battalion’s mission during 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division’s, rotation to the Mojave Dessert.
An army moves on supplies; in order to accomplish its mission The “Lancer” Brigade needs the resources to do so.
“Getting materials to the front is important,” said Spc. Shane Samuel, B Company, 2nd BSB, “If you shut down this unit nobody would have water, fuel, food, or medical supplies.”
“Our job is to sustain the soldiers,” said 1st Lt. Lang Linais, executive officer, B Company, 2nd BSB, 2nd Brigade, 2nd ID, “We get the right equipment and supplies to the right place at the right time.”
“We try to make sure the units in the field don’t run low on supplies,” said Capt. Jonathan Sohl, commander, B Company, 2nd BSB, “As a battalion we haven’t allowed the brigade to fail logistically. We have put multiple convoys on the road to make sure the beans and the bullets get to the guys that need it.”
Morale can take many twists and turns during deployments and training exercises. The 2nd BSB tries to make sure they do what they can to keep the soldiers in the fight and the mission moving forward.
“When soldiers don’t have hot chow, morale can get pretty low,” said Sgt. Kurt Kemp, B Company 2nd BSB, “If the vehicles don’t work it can really hurt the mission.”
“We appreciate the soldiers that help bring us the food and supplies,” said Staff Sgt. Garry Toddowns, 2-17 Field Artillery, “It helps the soldiers out a lot when they have showers and hot chow to come back to after spending days out on missions in the sun and sand.”
The soldiers of 2nd BSB spend long hours on convoys traveling down the same dangerous and dusty roads as other units, all in an effort to sustain the fight.
“What we’re here to do is move materials and repair equipment for the infantry and maneuver units outside the wire,” said Sohl, “It’s not the typical sexy mission that some units have but the soldiers who have this job take a great amount of pride and purpose in their job.”
“It’s not one company, one platoon, or one section accomplishing the mission,” said Sohl, “It takes complete synchronization of all the assets in the BSB to fully support the brigade.”
Eleven hours after the mission began 2nd BSB’s convoy arrived back at their starting point. They successfully navigated the narrow roads and trails of the NTC delivering food, water, ammunition and other materials to the Soldiers living on the out lying FOBs. Tomorrow will be another day and another convoy facing the same threats. The 2nd BSB will send convoys out in order to ensure the soldiers on the front line have the materials they need to continue the fight.