CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. –
Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 1173rd Transportation Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conducted a transportation and storage reform mission during their annual training July 9-21, 2023, at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
After traveling via convoy to Pennsylvania, the Soldiers worked in support of the Army Materiel Command to reform munitions storage at the Letterkenny Munitions Center, the main tenant of the depot. The real-world mission gave the 1173rd’s Soldiers the chance to use their military occupation specialties to conduct an important mission.
“We helped employees at the munitions center reorganize how and where they would store their munitions,” said 1st Lt. Shane McClellan, the officer in charge of the mission. “This mission gave us the ability to perform what we train on. It gave Soldiers the practical experience to move munitions on our vehicles and broadened their knowledge on their jobs as transporters.”
Despite traveling north, the 30-Soldier team had to battle challenging heat conditions as they performed their support mission at the munitions center.
“Although we were in Pennsylvania, I believe the most challenging aspect was the heat,” said McClellan. “Soldiers were extremely active while loading and unloading munitions, and they had to keep an eye on their fluid and food intake lest they fall victim as heat casualties.”
During their time in Pennsylvania, Brig. Gen. K. Weedon Gallagher, VNG Assistant Adjutant General - Army, visited the 1173rd’s Soldiers and thanked them for their hard work, and presented his challenge coin to recognize outstanding duty performance.
McClellan said a couple of the mission’s Soldiers stood out in keeping the team and the mission on track.
“Sgt. Rishawn Allen of the 1173rd's 2nd Platoon led the largest team during the mission,” said McClellan. “His leadership allowed maximum efficiency of his team, and he continued to mentor Soldiers despite not being in a training environment. Spc. Elliot Andrews went above and beyond his station during the mission as well, performing extra duties outside of what everyone else was doing and being flexible to the point where he could move in between teams and still be just as efficient.”
After completing their mission, the team safely returned to Virginia with vital experience to help them with future transportation missions.
“The highlight of the mission was being able to go to new places and act upon all the training we have received in the past and being able to put it to use,” said McClellan.
Two other VNG transportation units also performed real-world missions in support of AMC during their 2023 annual training. The Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company conducted a cross-country line haul mission, carrying cargo from the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky to the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. The Gate City-based 1032nd Transportation Company also conducted a real-world mission during their annual training, performing storage reform operations at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
The 1173rd's mission at Letterkenny was part of Operation Patriot Press, held annually by the Joint Munitions Command, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Reserve and the National Guard. It was established by the Army Materiel Command, to train members of all three components of the Army, as well as other services, on how to support the Army's overall strategic-positioning objectives. Twenty-five units participated in 25 exercises this summer as part of OPP 2023. Read more about OPP at https://ngpa.us/26825.
Read more about the 1710th and 1032nd’s missions at https://ngpa.us/25930.
Read more news about the 1030th Transportation Battalion at https://ngpa.us/25898.