297th CTC: Best Medium-Sized Logistics Unit In The Army

Story by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs

Soldiers of the 297th Cargo Transfer Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) were awarded the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence in the medium-size unit category and will formally receive the award May 18, at the Chief of Staff, Army, Combined Logistics Excellence Ceremony in Washington.

The 297th was selected from an Army-wide pool of units in the medium category.

The winners from each category are nominated for the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award.

"Winning the AAME and advancing to the (Department of Defense) level competition has truly made the 297th Soldiers accept how important their standards excelled by being recognized as the best at the Department of the Army level," said Chief Warrant Officer Bernabe Guerra Jr., a unit maintenance technician with the 297th.

Guerra attributed the 297th's success in the AAME to the unit's ability to provide technical expertise and successful managerial maintenance procedures to the units they support.

The mission of the 297th is to discharge, load, and transship cargo at water terminals located in fixed ports, or in Logistics-Over-the-Shores operations, and to supplement cargo/supply handling operations at combat service support activities in Corps and Division areas.

Over the past year the 297th deployed three platoons in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and 20 Soldiers to humanitarian relief in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Soldiers of the 297th's third and fourth platoons deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on separate assignments.

Third platoon fell under the 272nd Cargo Transfer Company in Al Asad, Iraq, while fourth platoon was assigned to the 289th Quartermaster Company at Logistics Support Area Anaconda.

Both platoons conducted various missions including; operating as a distribution center, unit movement coordination, conducting cargo documentation throughout Iraq, and providing Rough Terrain Container Handler support.

While third and fourth platoon Soldiers were busy in Iraq, 297th's first platoon deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Soldiers of first platoon, 297th, primarily conduct RTCH support and cargo documentation.

When Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans, a group of Soldiers from the 297th deployed to provide hot meals to service members and emergency workers located at the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

 

Spc Andre O Bourdon
Spc. Andre O. Bourdon, a mechanic with the 297th Cargo Transfer Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), performs maintenance on one of the 297th's vehicles. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Dale Gannon)

Spc Charles J Jones
Spc. Charles J. Jones, a mechanic with the 297th Cargo Transfer Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), performs maintenance on a Rough Terrain Container Handler. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Dale Gannon)