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Transportation Company Participates in Responsible Drawdown of U.S. Forces in Iraq

Apr 26, 2010

By Sgt. Matthew Merzke, 1483rd TC, 541st CSSB, 15th SBDE, 13th ESC

CAMP TAJI, Iraq -- Members of the 1483rd Transportation Company, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), have been working as a Mobile Redistribution Team to facilitate the removal of excess equipment from Iraq.

Seven Soldiers received 10 days of hands-on training, then began working, both at Camp Taji and other locations around Iraq, to provide assistance identifying, segregating, packing, and retrograding excess equipment as part of the deliberate drawdown from Iraq.

"The training was very enlightening," said Staff Sgt. Timothy Bellville, a truck driver from Toledo, Ohio. "It is incredible the quantity of excess equipment that a departing unit leaves behind.

"What we do is triage for unit excess," Bellville added.

Team members have to identify and sort through the excess equipment and segregate them into 19 different categories. These broad categories cover the diverse range of materials, from office supplies and hand tools to medical supplies and spare vehicle parts.

By sorting and processing this excess on site, the team accelerates the process of getting useful and needed material back into the supply system.

Team members are also sent in smaller detachments to remote locations to assist other units. Recently, three Soldiers were sent to JSS Sheik Amir on a five day mission to help the U.S. forces there clear excess equipment at that small facility.

"The team worked well together, completing all the required work quickly and efficiently utilizing the basic equipment on hand," said Sgt. Andrew Baker, a mechanic from New Philadelphia, Ohio.

As the 1483rd Trans. Co. works to complete the final part of their deployment to Iraq, the members of the Mobile Redistribution Team use these new skills to help their unit complete their strategic retrograde operations mission.

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