Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Logisticians keep weapons mission ready

2nd Lt. Liz Lopez
210th BSB, 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)
Multi-National Division – Center

MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq — In combat, a Soldier’s weapon is an extension of his being, going everywhere he goes and seeing everything he sees, which makes it essential for the weapons to be mission ready at all times.
To keep these weapons ready, Soldiers of the armament section in Company B, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), out of Fort Drum, N.Y., are not content to wait for the work to come to them. Instead they pack up their gear, jump on a convoy, and take themselves to the task at hand.
“It’s wonderful,” said Staff Sgt. Edward Mackel, a native of Chicago, who serves as an armament supervisor with the battalion. “Going different places gives us a chance to see the rest of the brigade and what they need (as far as weapons maintenance).”
Like Mackel, other logisticians spend the majority of their time on the road offering small-arms-repair to Soldiers who cannot get their equipment repaired at traditional shops because of mission constraints.
When on the road, the armament section travels with their workshop in teams of two. They stay at a location for about a week at a time gauging weapons and repairing whatever they can.
Although a portion of their time at these forward locations may still be spent waiting for customers, the team is not often idle.
While at Forward Operating Base Mahmudiyah, Mackel and Spc. Robert Deisbeck of Waldorf, Md., spent time talking with the armament specialist attached to 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT when the group heard a knock at the door.
It was the local unit’s quick reaction force returning from a morning mission needing their weapons gauged.
In moments, the team was in action accepting weapons from the Soldiers standing in a line that stretched well back from the mobile shop’s entrance. As they worked, Mackel and Deisbeck spoke with the Soldiers about their missions. Soon laughter filled the small space.
“It shows us how versatile the brigade is,” Mackel said.
Even more, the team’s very presence at the forward operating shows the brigade how versatile they are.

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