Cavalry regiment protects convoys traveling to Habur Gate
Story and photos by Sgt. John Stimac
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
HABUR GATE, Iraq — Soldiers with 1st Platoon, G Troop, Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) make weekly runs to Habur Gate, Iraq, to provide convoy security for trucks heading out of Iraq into Turkey.
They must safely and efficiently escort trucks filled with supplies and other logistical equipment from Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq, to Habur Gate, Iraq, and still be cognizant of the Share the Road policy, said Pfc. Jonathon M. Knight, a gunner with G Troop and a Monteagle, Tenn., native.
Knight said the policy requires convoys to leave at night, keeping U.S. presence in Iraqi cities to a minimum.
"We have to have situational awareness when we are going through Mosul at night," he said. "I talk with the other gunners on the truck, and if I see something I'll let my (truck commander) know and he'll take it from there."
Another platoon generally provides route clearance before his platoon leaves for its mission, said Knight.
"It is pretty smooth once we get out into the country," he said.
Knight said he enjoys making the Habur Gate runs, but they are not at all what he expected.
"I expected a lot more sand," he said. "Habur Gate is a very scenic place."
Spc. Christine N. Hoover, a driver with G Troop and a Rockport, Texas, native, said she is excited to go on the Habur Gate missions because they offer a change of scenery and routine.
"I've noticed a big difference here from my last deployment," she said. "The Kurdistan population here is a peaceful people. Now, we are free to go out and interact with the locals."
Hoover said as a driver she needs to be aware of pedestrians, traffic and lights flickering on and off, which is a possible sign of danger.
"We primarily drive through the night," she said. "It seems the people here are nice and respect us a lot."
Hoover was deployed to Marez in 2007 to 2008, and said Iraq has calmed down considerably.
"I think we have helped the Iraqi people," she said.
Sgt. Adam Davis, a truck commander with G Troop and a Huntland, Tenn., native, said his job is to make sure communication continues throughout the mission and ensure the driver stays on the correct course.
Davis said he enjoys the time at Habur Gate.
"There is a lot of history up this way," he said. "It definitely is a pretty place, and kind of reminds us of back home with all the grass, hills and streams."
Spc. Damon Clevinger, a driver with 1st Platoon, G Troop, Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Tullahoma, Tenn., native, and Spc. Michael Wilder, a gunner with G Troop and a Winchester, Tenn., native, attach a weapon system on a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle before leaving on a convoy security mission April 18 from Habur Gate, Iraq.