Friday, July 13, 2007

Airborne mail call boosts morale

By 2nd Lt. Elizabeth Lopez
210th BSB, 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq — Fort Drum Soldiers are not just taking to the skies to conduct battle operations, they’re using the speed and flexibility of an aircraft to get keep their Soldiers equipped and happy.
There are more than forty “Commando Providers,” from the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., living at forward locations at any one time. Therefore it becomes the responsibility of the Soldiers remaining at Camp Striker, Iraq, to provide them with the things they need to succeed in their missions – including mail.
It has been dubbed aerial mail drop and the battalion’s mail handlers deliver mail and high-priority mechanical parts to their fellow Soldiers out in sector, supporting forward-based units.
“I love doing it, I love everything about it,” said Pfc. Shanna-Kay Powell, a native of Kingston, Jamaica.
“We hope to make it a regular thing,” said Powell. “I’m very proud and happy to do it – it makes me feel good.”
Each mission generally lasts no more than an hour, but that’s long enough for the mail handler to travel to the battle positions and patrol bases where members of the 210th BSB live and work. Upon arrival, the Soldier is met by a liaison to whom he passes off his cargo of mail and parts.
The aerial missions have a second major benefit. They’ve not only been effective in improving the Soldiers’ morale by decreasing the time it takes to deliver their mail – they’ve also accelerated the rate in which Commando Providers can repair equipment.

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