Thursday, 29 May 2008
By Sgt Jennifer Schweizer
1st Sustainment Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad
Chief Petty Officer Phil Palmer (center), a San Diego native, and the electronic warfare officer for the 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, in support of Multi-National Division - Baghdad, explains capabilities and limitations on the Mine Resistance Ambush Protective armored vehicle’s counter improvised explosive device system to key members of the 10th Sustainment Brigade during their leader reconnaissance May 24. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jennifer Schweizer.
CAMP TAJI — They’re big – they’re bad – and they’re new. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle is the Army’s newest improvised-explosive device defense counter measure for Soldiers conducting logistical patrols throughout Multi-National Division – Baghdad.
Unfortunately, not much training, if any, is available for units scheduled to deploy at the present time even though this is the equipment Soldiers will most likely operate with once they arrive in theater. Luckily, key members from the 10th Sustainment Brigade, which is scheduled to replace the 1st Sustainment Brigade later this year, were able to get their first look inside the vehicle during a leader reconnaissance trip May 24.
“This is really good training for us”, said Maj. Anthony Steoger, a Two Rivers, Wis., native, and the maintenance officer in charge for the 10th Sust. Bde. “Obviously, we do not have any of these back at Fort Drum, N.Y.,” he continued.
The leaders were able to familiarize themselves with not only the vehicle itself but the electronic warfare equipment inside as well.
Chief Petty Officer Phil Palmer, a San Diego native, and the electronic warfare officer for the 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sust. Bde., took the leaders on a private tour inside the enormous transportation system while focusing on the electronic counter IED equipment.
The second part of their specialized tour covered maneuver capabilities and escape routes. Providing guidance for this portion of instructions was Staff Sgt. James Horton, a Nice, Calif., native, and a truck commander from Battery B, 1st Battalion of the 206th Field Artillery also from the 165th CSSB, 1st Sust. Bde. Horton extended to stay in theater in order to help train Soldiers on the MRAP system.
Once the leaders head back to Fort Drum, they will be able to share this essential information with their unit in preparation for their future endeavor.
“These MRAPs are what’s keeping our Soldiers safe out on the road,” said Lt. Col. William Bailey, a Greensboro, N.C., native, and the officer in charge of support operations for the 10th Sust. Bde. “Getting to know this new-age equipment through ‘training for dummies’ is really good information,” he laughed.