By Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) Public Affairs
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq — In a yard, just minutes away from a tactical operations center, on Camp Striker, Iraq lies a secret – a secret that remains untold until it is visited.
Soldiers of the supply support activity, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) work every day at the SSA yard to ensure the supply flow runs smoothly while in Iraq.
The Soldiers provide a variety of classes of supplies to include food, office, petroleum, barriers, repair parts and major end items.
Currently, the SSA provides service to about 150 customers and stocks 3,794 lines of separate parts supporting more units than just the 2nd BCT.
“I love to be able to support the customers here and out in sector,” Sgt. LeMarkisha Hill, the SSA stock control noncommissioned officer in charge and native of New York, N.Y. “We make sure supplies are available so Soldiers can continue their missions.”
Although the supply system may seem like a relatively easy job to the average person, the system is quite complex.
The SSA consists of several different stations that are manned by different Soldiers.
“It is hard to understand the SSA unless you have seen each part of it,” explained 1st Lt. Jay Schulz, a native of Kenosha, Wisc., who serves as a 210th BSB general support platoon leader.
The hub of SSA is known as the stock control section. This section is responsible for keeping accountability of the shipping, requisitioning, issuing and inventorying reports of all items.
“Each day we perform three different types of transactions, one in the morning, noon and the evening,” Hill said of the stock control section. “Often, customers can get items the same day if we have them on hand. We do a walk through to see if we have the items the customer may be looking for.”
The first of the SSA is the receiving station. Soldiers work nightlong to inventory incoming supplies and get the new items ready for the day-shift Soldiers.
“We have these Soldiers work at night to minimize the traffic at the SSA,” Schulz explained.
After the items are ordered and received they are placed in their appropriate places.
One place that the supplies are placed is known as the storage section, which consists of 50 large, connexes metal shipping containers of repair parts, 14 connexes of petroleum, oil and lubrication supplies and 20 additional smaller connexes of other repair parts. The Soldiers in this section work all day ensuring that each part is put in its proper location.
“You stay busy all day,” said Spc. Joel Reyes, a native of New York, N.Y., who serves as an SSA supply clerk. “We are constantly receiving and pushing out parts.”
And when supplies are broken or items, such as a vehicle that was too damaged to be fixed from an improvised explosive device, are no longer serviceable or there are simply excess items the SSA’s turn-in section takes care of getting rid of.
When the supplies are ready to be given to the customer the issuing section takes the reins and works with the units to make sure the customers get their supplies.
“As soon as we get the parts we notify the customers right away,” said Sgt. Luis Cribillero, the issuing section NCOIC and native of Queens, N.Y. “It is a demanding job and very long hours, but we will do anything to complete the mission.
Although many supplies come in small packages, there are others that require forklifts to move them. The movement control section, which contains the only forklifts in the 2nd BCT, is responsible for loading and downloading a variety of items.
“The palettes of water that you see near the trailers and the TOC are put there by Soldiers of the SSA’s movement control section,” Schulz said.
“We move anything from Hesco barriers to lumber for force protection,” said Sgt. Jean Canneus, the SSA movement control NCOIC and native of Boston, Mass.
As complex as the SSA’s operation may be the Soldiers, who are currently understaffed, continue to provide quality service to their customers.
“These Soldiers have performed way beyond my expectations,” said Chief Warrant Officer Julio Hall, the 210th BSB supply systems technician and native of Grafton, N.H. “These are the most outstanding group of Soldiers I have worked with.”