By Sgt. James Geelen | 4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Infantry Soldiers typically carry a large amount of supplies and gear that can weigh upward of 100 pounds. They cannot always rely on the use of vehicles and are sometimes called “legs.”
On Sept. 24, 2019, about 280 Soldiers with 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, didn’t have to worry about how they were getting from their area of operations to their destination. They knew they could count on the 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Inf. Div., for assistance.
“It’s extremely beneficial … to know that we can call on the 68th (CSSB) for support,” said 1st Lt. Lemans Cooper, executive officer, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd IBCT. “They’re enabling a battalion-sized training event, which essentially allows us to train for real-world combat.”
When the request for troop transport was passed to Capt. Rachel Campion, commander, 59th Quartermaster Company, 68th CSSB, 4th SB, she knew she had to begin coordination efforts.
“59th took the lead on this mission but we determined that help was needed from the rest of the battalion,” Campion said. “After I assigned my convoy commander, he went to the other companies to coordinate the use of their equipment and Soldiers. We ended up with a total of 17 vehicles to conduct the troop transport mission.”
The sustainment brigades’ efforts did not go unnoticed.
“Without help from the 68th, this mission would have been extremely difficult for us,” Cooper said. “We don’t have the assets as a light infantry battalion to transport the whole battalion by vehicles.”
Leaders know they must be flexible when conducting a ground assault convoy mission because things can change very quickly.
“We transported the Soldiers to the helicopter landing zone and after the first two groups lifted off, the helicopter (pilots) didn’t feel safe landing there anymore,” said 2nd Lt. Troy Berghoefer, platoon leader, 59th QM, 68th CSSB, 4th SB. “So we had to load the remaining Soldiers back into the trucks and move them to another landing zone.”
The mission also served to build cohesiveness between the units that will be working together again at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
“It’s very important … to have been able to work with (2nd IBCT),” Berghoefer said. “We now know what kind of support we will be providing at JRTC. Throughout the next couple of months, I can actually start training my Soldiers so we’ll be more efficient and be able to provide even further support.”
Campion said the event was a good opportunity to network with the other units to coordinate future missions.
“Not only does 2nd IBCT know that we can support them, but if we need their help, we’ve made those contacts,” Campion said. “This bridges that gap, they know they can rely on us and we work well together.”