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Quartermaster Co. completes Operation Clean Sweep at Normandy

Jan 26, 2010

By Sgt. Keith S. VanKlompenberg, 13th ESC public affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION NORMANDY, Iraq -- The 910th Quartermaster Company, an Army Reserve unit out of Ardmore, Okla., completed Operation Clean Sweep Jan. 14 at Contingency Operating Location Normandy, Iraq.

Operation Clean Sweep is an 80th Ordnance Battalion project that brings teams to locations around Iraq to remove excess and unused equipment and property that is not on units' property books, said Staff Sgt. Jimmy Vance, an automated logistics specialist with the 910th Quartermaster Co., 80th Ord. Bn., 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

"The goal is to save the U.S. government and taxpayers a tremendous amount of money," said Vance.

Vance said the project also helps units avoid ordering unnecessary equipment by redistributing it from units that have too much but, as the responsible drawdown approaches, they focus more on sending the excess home.

When the project at COL Normandy reached its completion, Vance said his team had gathered nine or 10 connexes full of excess and overstock equipment from units on the base.

He said the cargo obtained ranged from a few books to large generators and refrigeration units.

"We've seen everything," said Vance. "It's always something different."

Vance said Operation Clean Sweep begins when a liaison visits a location in Iraq and tells the Mayor's Cell a team is on its way. The individual units then locate any excess and prepare to send it out.

"They're really good about having everything ready," said Spc. Bernardo De Luna, a petroleum supply specialist with the 910th and a Wichita Falls, Texas, native.

De Luna said he volunteered to be a member of Operation Clean Sweep after the petroleum supply mission at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, was completed.

"It was an opportunity to see different parts of Iraq and get outside JBB," he said.

Before the mission at Normandy, Operation Clean Sweep took De Luna and the team to COL Warhorse.

"We picked up a lot of experience at Warhorse," he said. "We knew what to expect (at COL Normandy)."

De Luna said the nine-man team completed the mission at COL Normandy in 11 days.

"We work as a team and we don't stop until the mission's done," he said. "We don't want to leave anything behind."

Vance said the Operation Clean Sweep team will likely conduct another mission in northern Iraq before the 910th's scheduled redeployment in February.

He said his team will go home knowing it was a vital part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"This is very rewarding, helping clean up the country so we can return it to Iraq," said Vance.

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