Target haul mission provides real world experience for 1032nd TC Soldiers

Virginia National Guard Soldiers of the Gate-City Based 1032nd Transportation Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, secure six training boats on to their trucks to be repurposed as targets at Fort Pickett, Va. during the November drill. The Soldiers hauled the brightly-colored boats from Naval Station Norfolk to Fort Pickett Nov. 1, 2014, which provided the Soldiers with additional training and real-world experience driving in an urban environment and transporting non-Army equipment. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Miko M. Skerrett, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs).

Virginia National Guard Soldiers of the Gate-City Based 1032nd Transportation Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, secure six training boats on to their trucks to be repurposed as targets at Fort Pickett, Va. during the November drill. The Soldiers hauled the brightly-colored boats from Naval Station Norfolk to Fort Pickett Nov. 1, 2014, which provided the Soldiers with additional training and real-world experience driving in an urban environment and transporting non-Army equipment. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Miko M. Skerrett, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs).

NORFOLK, Va. — Soldiers of the Virginia National Guard’s Gate City-based 1032nd Transportation Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group braved the cold and rain Nov. 1, 2014, and provided drivers on the road between Norfolk and Blackstone with an unusual sight as their camouflaged trucks hauled bright orange boats from Naval Station Norfolk to Fort Pickett, Va.

The Virginia Guard Soldiers worked with the Navy to acquire and haul the unserviceable target boats once used to train Sailors in exercises such as anti-piracy maneuvers. The boats will now be placed on weapon ranges at Fort Pickett.

This mission was not only beneficial to those training at Fort Pickett, but hauling the targets provided more on-the-job training for one of the most important aspects of a transportation company: driving.

“Being able to take our trucks out on the road not only gives our Soldiers more time behind the wheel, but also some time driving and safely maneuvering through traffic in an urban setting,” said Sgt. Cortez Watson, the safety sergeant for the mission. “Of course, training for this kind of driving is great, but you can only really understand and learn from actually performing the task in a real-world environment.”

The Soldiers noted that missions like these not only provide additional training on essential equipment used within their specialty, but it also allows them to adapt their current skills to a new task.

“We get to use our equipment like it’s meant to be used,” said Spc. Timothy Wright, a motor transport operator with the unit. “These kinds of missions and tasks allow us to gain invaluable experience that we wouldn’t receive by just pulling an empty trailer around a base for a few miles.

“Most of us don’t come into this mission knowing much about boats or how to transport them, so it’s a great learning experience on how to secure and modify transportation procedures from the usual shipping containers or Army equipment to oddly shaped items like these boats,” said Wright.

A native of Wytheville, Va., Wright also participated in a similar mission earlier this year and said the 1032nd TC Soldiers took the time to study the titles and symbols for Navy rank before meeting the Sailors to pick up and drop off equipment.

“These kinds of joint missions really get us out of our comfort zone, which is a great for both the experienced Soldiers and those who have just joined,” said 2nd Lt. Chris Davis, platoon leader and convoy commander for this mission. “Overall, this mission was a success. We gained experience, there were no incidents, and now we get to repurpose these boats so other Soldiers may receive the training they need.”

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157648697756367/