Thursday, January 18, 2007

Provider Soldiers make quality of life better for brothers in arms

Capt. Amanda Nalls
210th BSB, 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)

BAGHDAD — It is common knowledge that the quality of life for deployed Soldiers is much different than it is in the United States. Soldiers at battle positions across Iraq make due with baby wipes instead of hot showers, a chilly sleeping bag instead of a warm bed and Meals, Ready to Eat instead of home-cooked meals. The Soldiers in maneuver units assigned to the Commando Brigade sacrifice some of life’s comforts willingly every day in the name of winning the War on Terror.
Soldiers assigned to the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) recently developed projects that will assist their maneuver battalion brothers in improving the quality of life at some of the remote locations throughout the brigade’s area of operations.
Company B of the 210th BSB, under the direction of Capt. John Forsyth, the company commander, have developed Mobile Maintenance Teams dedicated to repairing equipment forward in sector.
The teams, composed of several experienced repairmen, travel to patrol bases and battle positions throughout the Commando AO. At each location they service generators, rewire shower trailers and repair wiring in company command posts.
Their efforts have improved the reliability of power and electricity at these locations and have greatly improved living conditions for Soldiers within the brigade.
“We’re dedicated to ‘fixing forward,’” commented Forsyth, a native of Rochester, N.Y. “Our Soldiers will continue to assist in repairing equipment in sector so that the brigade’s Forward Support Companies can focus their efforts on pushing supplies and maintenance farther forward.”
Company C of the 210th BSB also continues to focus its assets forward in attempt to make life better for their fellow Soldiers.
1st Lt. Dennis Rufolo and Spc. Michelle Daus, the 210th BSB Preventative Medicine Team, are two of many Soldiers that are dedicated to finding and fixing problems in sector.
Hardly a day goes by that does not see Rufolo and Daus in sector assessing living conditions and proactively developing solutions to the brigade’s problems.
“I love my job,” Daus, a native of Lakewood, Calif., said as she stood in calf-deep water turned brownish-green from sewage and trash. “I want to get outside the wire and make a difference.”
Since their arrival in theater, Rufolo and Daus have made great strides in improving, among other things, water quality, trash and waste removal, and pest and animal control across the brigade’s area of operations.
The quality of life improvements are the result of a mindset instilled in the leaders and Soldiers of 210th BSB by the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Brian Rogers.
“Our Soldiers will focus their efforts forward,” Rogers, a native of Missoula, Mont., said. “As leaders we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent and focused on our own ‘rice bowl’ back on Camp Striker.”
The effort to make a difference has grown to include members of the battalion and brigade staff who routinely travel to patrol bases throughout the Commando AO to assess the current conditions.
Although living at a company-size battle position will always remain a far cry home, Soldiers at such remote locations can count on the Provider Soldiers to make life just a little bit better so that they can continue to sustain the fight and look forward to a hot shower when they get back off of patrol.

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