GATE CITY, Va. –
Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Gate City-based 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group operated a trailer transfer point May 16, 2017, in Gate City as part of their two weeks of annual training. The TTP is part of a transportation mission that provides the Soldiers with real-world training and saves the Army money by using Guard resources to move containers, and it also simulates the kind of operation the Soldiers would conduct if they were providing logistics support overseas in a federal active duty status.
Soldiers assigned to the Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company used M915 trucks to haul trailers with containers for Army Material Command from a location South Carolina to the TTP in Gate City, then Soldiers assigned to the Gate City-based 1032nd Transportation Company used M1088 trucks to pick up the trailers at the TTP and haul the containers to a location in Kentucky. Nearly 40 vehicles were used for each leg of the transport mission.
Soldiers assigned to the Manassas-based 229th Military Police Company will provide security for the convoys.
“Real-world transportation missions are a great morale booster for Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. J. Steve Williams, commander of the 1030th. “These types of missions places them in a variety of situations that also allows them to learn and grow in their skills, and the Army Material Command Mission allowed all four companies in the battalion to participate. Whether it was leading, planning, driving, tracking, coordinating, or communicating this mission was a great opportunity to better hone these skills.”
Soldiers were able to prepare for the mission through training at Fort Pickett, Williams explained.
“The road network and training areas at Ft Pickett provides Soldiers the opportunity to practice and refine their driving skills during day and night time conditions as well as integrate transportation tactics and techniques required to operate a tactical convoy,” he said.
Preparation for the mission begin eight days before the first ruck rolled out, explained Capt. Daniel S. Morris, commander of the 1710th. New Soldiers needed training on the vehicles they would be driving, and Soldiers from the maintenance platoon had to make sure all the vehicles and trailers were fully mission capable. The 1710th’s headquarters section set up a tactical operations center to be able to track the unit’s progress during the mission.
Between the two transportation companies, the military police company and the headquarters detachment there were a total of 138 vehicles involved in the mission. Those vehicles travelled nearly 127,000 miles without any significant incidents and transported nearly 216 tons in the vehicles.
In addition to the trailer transfer point mission, Soldiers from the 1030th focused on a variety of tasks including mission planning and execution, day and night driver’s training, tactical convoy operations, military police situational training lanes and crew-served and individual weapons qualifications.
Nearly 140 Soldiers qualified on the M16 or M4 rifle, more than more than 110 Soldiers qualified with the M9 pistol, and the companies in the battalion achieved 100 percent qualification rate on the MK-19 grenade launcher and M2 .50 caliber machine gun.
“Each company in the battalion is on a different readiness cycle.” Williams said. “Some companies were focused on individual and squad level training while others were focused on platoon and company level training. The training conducted during annual training focused on the companies mission essential tasks and allowed them to maintain or improve on their mission essential task list ratings.”