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Transportation unit slated to transfer vehicles to composite company

Jan 25, 2010

By Spc. Michael Camacho, 13th ESC public affairs

CAMP TAJI, Iraq -- A transportation task force began preparing to relocate its fleet of more than 55 tractors and 110 40-foot flat bed trailers Jan. 13 at Camp Taji, Iraq.

The 1161st Transportation Company Task Force, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 96th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), will not be replaced when it leaves Iraq in the coming weeks.

The unit's fleet will be relocated and transferred to a transportation company at Contingency Operating Location Speicher, Iraq, said Capt. Leslie Jines Jr., commander of the 1161st Trans. Co. TF. The unit will gain more than 55 M915 line-haul tractors to increase its mission readiness and capabilities, he said.

The receiving unit, the 724th Transportation Company, 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th ESC, is transitioning to a composite transportation unit, said Jines, a Selah, Wash., native.

"During the strategic drawdown of forces, they've decide to form two composite transportation companies in theater," said Jines. "(The 1161st Trans. Co. TF) has become a donor unit to help build these composite transportation organizations."

Composite transportation companies' vehicle assets include heavy equipment transporter systems, M915 line-haul tractors and palletized load systems, said Jines. This array of vehicles allows for versatility in mission capability, he said.

What a 915 fleet could move is different from what a HET system could move, said Jines. The composite companies will be able to accomplish almost any transportation mission given to them, Jines said.

"That commander will have at his disposal a variety of vehicles to choose from to support missions," said Jines.

The maintenance teams with 1161st Trans. Co. TF inspected and repaired the unit's fleet to ensure mission readiness when the equipment is transferred, said 1st Sgt. David Luther, senior enlisted adviser with the 1161st.

"Our maintenance department and operators did a full (technical inspection) on all the vehicles, getting every little thing fixed, so we turn them over in the best condition possible," said Luther, a West Richland, Wash., native.

Each part of the system, the tractor and its primary and secondary trailers, took roughly eight hours to inspect, said Luther.

"It's well worth it," said Luther. "We're giving them the best equipment we can."

During its 10 month tour in Iraq, the 1161 Trans. Co. TF conducted roughly 350 missions and drove more than 136,700 miles throughout Iraq, said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Fisher, truck master with the 1161st Trans. Co. TF. The unit transported more than 32 million pounds of multiclass supplies and materials, primarily rolling stock and repair parts, said Fisher, a Kirkland, Wash., native.

As an M915 line-haul tractor unit, the 1161st Trans. Co. TF provided valuable transportation support to the sustainment operations at bases in the surrounding areas of Camp Taji, said Fisher.

The final mission of the 1161st Trans. Co. TF will be delivering its tractor trailer systems to the 724th Trans. Co., said Jines.

Jines said, "It's a great mission for my Soldiers to finish up their deployment with."

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