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Officers, NCOs haul Ammo

 

Written by Spc. Michael Vanpool
101st Sustainment Brigade

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionLifelinersBagram Airfield, Afghanistan – Once a month, leadership of the 101st Sustainment Brigade break away from their daily routines of briefings and learn hands-on the impact of their decisions in the confines of the headquarters.

Called leadership professional development, the officers and senior noncommissioned officers are trained on different aspects of the multifaceted brigade.

This month, leaders of the brigade and 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion formed on the ammunition yards of the 592nd Ordnance Company, a reserve unit from Billings, MT, attached to the 17th CSSB, 101st SB.

Lifeliners learn about ammunition movements during leadership training

Lifeliners learn about ammunition movements during leadership training

The company is solely responsible for resupplying ammunition for servicemembers across Regional Commands North, East and Capitol. “We load ammo for shipments to the warfighter,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Lugenbill, the operations noncommissioned officer in charge for the 592nd.

The company moved more than 15 million rounds of ammo in April, which equates to around 4,200 short tons, to various and remote forward operating bases. A majority of that ammo was prepared in the inbound/ outbound yard by a team of less than a dozen.

“It adds up,” Lugenbill said. “That’s a lot of work for these guys.”

Approximately 130 leaders from across the brigade cycled through the various stations in the IBOB. The Soldiers of the 592nd took them through the steps of preparing ground and air shipments, sorting ammunition residue, and conducting inventories and safety checks on the ordnance. The leaders lifted, counted and stacked the different types on ammo throughout the morning.

“I now have a greater appreciation for my ammunition brethren. This is hard work,” said Sgt. 1st Class Katherine Lawson-Best, postal NCOIC and support operations platoon sergeant for the 101st SB. “Doing LPD here is a great idea. We all get to experience what each commodity does.”

Lawson-Best led the first LPD in December when the leaders sorted holiday mail at the Bagram Regional Mail Distribution Center.

By moving the ammo in between pallets, the leaders realized the hard work behind the movement of nearly 18 pallets of ordnance the 592nd must push out each day.

“You might not remember much about the net explosive weight of ammo, but you’ll remember how hard it is to move this ammo,” said Brigade commander Col. Michael Peterman. “Leaders at all levels, sometimes when we move up, we forget the impact we have on others.”

The culmination of the LPD was a competition in which three teams competed to complete moving an air shipment to a ground shipment, and then move the ground shipment back to air. The decision to move shipments from ground to air, and vice versa, takes a split second, but requires extensive work by the 592nd.

“I think it’s good for the battalion and brigade, and even the other companies, to know what our guys go through on a daily basis,” said Spc. Elizabeth Ridder, who works in the operations section for the 592nd. “Especially moving the ground shipments to air shipments, because that happens to our guys all the time, and they only have a few minutes to get it changed up. It’s a good experience.”

The LPD aimed to give insight into the work of the 592nd, which most Soldiers either see only on a computer screen.

“Hands-on-training is one of the things most of you will remember, and it’s probably one of the things most of your Soldiers will remember,” Peterman said.


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