513th Trans. Co. loads up
By Pfc. Abel Trevino
28th Public Affairs Detachment
In the 120-degree desert heat of Tallil Air Base on July 18, the 513th Transportation Company along with Republic of Korea soldiers, loaded American military flatbeds with Korean vehicles and equipment for a three-day trip to Irbil on the border of the Green Line in northeastern Iraq.
The Green Line delineates an area of Northern Iraq, which is primarily Kurdish and has operated autonomously from the Iraqi government since 1991.
With an eye for safety, the 513th Trans. Co. Soldiers secured the vehicles and equipment to the flatbed trucks with heavy chains. The Soldiers will check the chains at every stop to ensure they are still tightly bound.
"We'll have to stop and assess our chains in the middle of the convoy," said Spc. Noah Lockhart of the 513th Trans. Co. "Each time we stop, we check our load."
Soldiers opted to use heavy chains instead of cargo straps to decrease the risk of the load loosening and shifting along the trip.
"Chains don't break," explained Sgt. 1st Class Dan Dohm from the 570th Movement Regulation Team.
Chains are more durable than straps and allow for better tension, especially for trips of that distance, he said.
The trip is long and the Soldiers anticipated it to be eventful.
"At first, I was [psychologically] good about it," said Spc. Vincent Harris. "But now, everybody has talked about how dangerous it is, and I'm a little shaky."
Other Soldiers prepared for the dangers by reflecting on past experiences.
"[I'm not nervous], I've been in dangerous situations before. So, I just want to get this stuff over there," said Spc. Maria Yanez.
Getting the equipment ready for transport brought different aspects of difficulty to the Soldiers.
"The most difficult part is organization," Lockhart said. "There are a lot of last-minute changes."
Those changes included adding several flatbed vehicles, which also required additional personnel, and more preparation.
Korean soldiers assisted the loading team by driving vehicles onto the trailers and tightening chains.
The 513th Trans. Co. Soldiers appreciated the extra assistance provided by their Korean counterparts.
"They [the Korean Soldiers] have been helpful," Yanez said.
The mutual cooperation between American and Korean soldiers loading and securing the vehicles guaranteed the safety of the equipment on the trip.
Editors Note: Pfc. Trevino is assigned to the 28th Public Affairs Detachment. He is deployed to LSA Anaconda, Balad, Iraq in support of the 13th Corps Support Command.
513th Trans. Co. loads up