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Movement NCO ensures soldiers reach destination in Liberia

 

Written by Sgt. Ange Desinor
13th Public Affairs Detachment

United States Africa CommandPaynesville, Liberia – Vehicles such as a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle wouldn’t be able to safely travel through the rough terrain, rigorous roads and congested traffic of Liberia.

So when 36th Engineer Brigade Soldiers deployed in support of Operation United Assistance have a mission outside of the National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, Liberia, there’s a solution – Staff Sgt. Jose Nieves.

Nieves, a movement noncommissioned officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Engineer Brigade, assigns drivers to the Soldiers going out on missions from the NPTA.

From left, Staff Sgt. Jose Nieves, a Bayamon, Puerto Rico, native and movement noncommissioned officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Engineer Brigade, talks to Haji A. Sheriff, a Liberia, Monrovia native and a driver, about his routes before he goes out on a mission to Buchanan, Liberia, Dec. 27, 2014, from the National Police Training Academy, Paynesville, Liberia, during Operation United Assistance. (Sgt. Ange Desinor, 13th Public Affairs Detachment)

From left, Staff Sgt. Jose Nieves, a Bayamon, Puerto Rico, native and movement noncommissioned officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Engineer Brigade, talks to Haji A. Sheriff, a Liberia, Monrovia native and a driver, about his routes before he goes out on a mission to Buchanan, Liberia, Dec. 27, 2014, from the National Police Training Academy, Paynesville, Liberia, during Operation United Assistance. (Sgt. Ange Desinor, 13th Public Affairs Detachment)

Nieves, a husband and a father of two, coordinates movement of Soldiers going to areas to build Ebola treatment units or different camps.

“My day at the NPTA starts early in the morning by 6:30am,” said Nieves, a Bayamon, Puerto Rico, native. “I come in around the same time as the drivers and assign them to locations based on prior planning.”

Nieves said he starts by picking up the trip tickets from the tactical operations center. The trip tickets consist of number of personnel, vehicles requested and a point of contact for the missions.

Some days are extremely busy for Nieves, but he works until his mission is complete for the day.

“Sometimes I work long hours,” said Nieves. “The end of day doesn’t stop until all Soldiers make it back safely from their missions.”

Specialist Joshua Owens, a movement specialist with HHC, said he loves his job.

“Working with [Nieves] is rewarding,” said the Chicago native. “Although we have long days with the movement of vehicles, I enjoy our long talks about our experience here, advice on career and even playing dominos with him.”

Owens said the highlight of his day is interacting with the drivers.

Haji A. Sheriff, a husband, and a father of three, from Monrovia, Liberia, is a contractor hired to drive approved, privately owned vehicles throughout Liberia in support of Operation United Assistance.

“Before the drivers head out, we laugh and joke with them,” said Owens. “Haji is our guy to go to, and he’s a man with good morals, very religious, and full of positivity.”

Nieves said he appreciates his role in OUA, especially the skills he has gained from his position.

“I’ve learned so much working as a movement NCO,” said Nieves. “I learned how to manage operational movements efficiently. Those are important skills that I will definitely need when I progress in my career.”

As much as he enjoys his job, there’s one thing Nieves said he can’t wait to go back home for – his family.

“I will miss this place, but I’m ready to go on vacation,” said Nieves. “With everything that I have accomplished and learned here, I can’t wait to share that with my family.”


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