Story and photo by 1st Lt. Justin Hackett, BFMC, 215th BSB, 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div.
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq – After seven months in Iraq, Soldiers with B Company, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, have become accustomed to the high operational tempo and stringent daily mission requirements.
B Company contains two security platoons consisting of 13 different military occupational specialties. These platoons are formed together into a unit that is responsible for sustainment replenishment operations and transporting supplies to and from multiple United States military bases throughout southern Iraq.
In addition to the safety and security of these missions, the two security platoons are responsible for escorting recovery trucks through the many routes that traverse across the GREYWOLF brigade’s operating environment.
Missions can last as long as a week from the time they leave Contingency Operating Base Adder until the time they return, sometimes being on the road for up to 22 hours nonstop.
For most Soldiers, this meant learning an entirely different job than anything they have ever trained for. In the past, armed security was typically a job for infantry and military police units; a task that initially looked quite daunting to many of the Soldiers of B Company. This was made easier by the broad spectrum of specialties available on every mission, with more than a dozen military occupational specialties in every convoy. This ensures that someone within the ranks has the technical proficiency and experience required to resolve complex problems under pressure in a time constrained environment.
“As always, flexibility has been a critical piece to mission success. My Soldiers came here with open minds and a desire to accomplish whatever mission was given to them,” said Staff Sgt. Prince House, a Layton, Utah native, and a platoon sergeant with B Company. “The NCOs and Soldiers of my platoon came from all walks of life and an array of MOSs that was startling. In short order we were able to fully utilize every Soldiers’ unique skill sets and apply them to the broader focus of the mission requirements that lay ahead.”
House also said that it’s a great feeling to see Soldiers coming back from missions proud of their accomplishments, knowing that they have successfully resupplied more troops with the basic necessities they need to continue their mission.
Second Lt. Samuel Eldridge a native of Llano, Texas, and platoon leader for 5th platoon said that coming straight to Iraq from Basic Officer Leader Course was a daunting task, but realized how much experience there was within the platoon.
“It was a welcomed relief to have so many different military occupational specialties compiled together into a multi-functional platoon that can accomplish any mission in the battalion, from basic security, fuel, water, and maintenance, to armed escort,” he said. “It’s certainly an honor and privilege to be able to lead such well rounded Soldiers on extended missions throughout our area of operations.”
Some of the constant tasks that occur on missions are fixing flat tires, repairing and towing vehicles that break down and navigating various stretches of roadways dotted with Iraqi Police and Army check points as well as villages.
As the deployment continues, the Soldiers of B Company strive to maintain a constant state of operational readiness through vigilant and proactive measures designed to keep Soldiers mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight. Members in the unit have come a long way on the road to achieving the level of proficiency they currently posses, and despite the high level of standards achieved, are finding new and innovative ways to maintain their razor edge and continue to grow as a unit.