The 297th Inland Cargo Team Company Delivers

1st Lt. Essence Burton
553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company is critical to successful operations at the Baghdad International Airport.

BIAP is the largest mover of passengers in Iraq, averaging 6,200 passengers weekly. The 297th ICTC is the second largest mover of cargo in Iraq and averages more than 2,500 tons weekly. Soldiers of the 297th safely distribute pallets with Class IX supplies to forward operating bases such as Taji, Falcon, Rustamiyah, and all Victory Base Complex locations. Their efforts contribute to keeping Soldiers safe and off the dangerous roads of Iraq. The arrival / departure air control group runs 24-hour operations to ensure all cargo is processed in a timely manner and reaches the customer units without delay.

The A / DACG pallet building section is the backbone of the company’s mission. In the last ten months, Soldiers have built over 8,307 pallets, including pallets for both fixed wing and rotary wing transport. The objective is to reduce the number of convoys on the road, keeping more Soldiers out of harm’s way. The more cargo the 297th can distribute by air, the fewer number of convoys are required to push supplies by ground.

The non-commissioned officer in charge of helicopter operations is Sgt. Manuel Rivenbark, a Warsaw, N.C., native. He supervises the daily upload of CH-47 Chinook helicopters, MV-22 Osprey aircraft, and CH-46 Black Knight aircraft with Class IX pallets for both Army and Marine units. Some FOBs receive nightly helicopter pallets, while others receive supply shipments less frequently. Successful night operations depend on hard work and preparation during the day shift, which is lead by Sgt. Sabino Cano, a San Antonio, Texas, native. His team constructs these FOB pallets to meet helicopter specifications where the height is no more than 60 inches.

The Kalmar rough terrain container handler and forklifts are also vital to the A / DACG’s success. Customers may request assistance moving containers or pallets. The A / DACG personnel have even provided cargo movement support for the Polish and Hungarian armies. Service is always our number one priority, and our ultimate goal is to reduce risk by keeping Soldiers off the roads by providing dedicated support to the customer.


The arrival/departure air control group, 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, under the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, downloads a pallet for Hungarian army. The Soldiers have built over 8,307 pallets for both fixed wing and rotary wing transport to various forward operating bases within Multi-National Division-Baghdad.