429th BSB runs supply convoys to feed, fuel, arm 116th IBCT

Soldiers from the Danville-based 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team prepare a logistical resupply convoy with ammunition, food and other supplies June 15 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — With the main body of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducting annual training at Fort A. P. Hill from June 9 – 23, Soldiers from the Danville-based 429th Brigade Support Battalion ran regular resupply convoys from Fort Pickett to keep units fueled, fed and armed. Soldiers drove almost 43,000 miles as they executed logistical packages, or LOGPACs, every three days over the two-week training period.

“Our goal was to execute LOGPACs to support the brigade in a more traditional construct of Brigade Support Area in the rear area, not like in the past where all the units were located together,” said Lt. Col. Billy Tucker, commander of the 429th.

Soldiers from the 429th established a BSA at Fort Pickett that served as the launch point for preparing the convoys that made the 120-mile trip to Fort A. P. Hill to the forward deployed units. Over five separate runs, Soldiers from the South Boston-based Company A delivered almost 14,000 MREs, more than 8,700 gallons of fuel and more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition, fuses and pyrotechnic devices.

Tucker explained that running the convoys over long distances every three days forces the planning of time and distance on both the pushing and receiving end of the convoy. “When we push three days of supply more than 120 miles, we have to factor in time and distance impacts how it all gets there,” he said.

The battalion tactical operations center was also able to track all the convoy movement along the convoy route using the Movement Tracking System. “We were in our TOC in the middle of the woods and able to monitor vehicles as they move along the route,” Tucker said.

In addition to the supply convoy operations, the battalion also accomplished a number of other significant training events. Soldiers from the Richmond-based Company B conducted more than 380 services on all types of equipment and performed 32 equipment repairs. Medics from the Charlottesville-based Company C provided support for more than 130 Solders and conducted classes to certify 34 Soldiers as combat lifesavers. Food service personnel prepared almost 5,000 meals in utilizing new field kitchen trailers.

The battalion headquarters practiced tactical movement by moving their TOC location three different times, maintaining digital communications and battlefield training systems through the moves. They also utilized the Raven unmanned aerial vehicle system for aerial reconnaissance that provided a live video feed for the commander to maintain situational awareness.

The battalion also conducted driver training and added 17 new licensed drivers for Light Medium Tactical Vehicles used in response packages for possible state active duty missions.   The battalion also awarded 84 Driver and Mechanic Badges during an awards ceremony at the end of annual training period.

Tucker said one of the biggest takeaways from the two weeks was showing that the 429th could conduct operations in a more traditional tactical environment, something the battalion hasn’t done in recent memory. He also credited the battalion’s noncommissioned officer corps for the outstanding way they interpreted the guidance and intent from senior leaders and made sure Soldiers received great training that was executed safely.

View photos on Flickr:

Support battalion Soldiers run logistical support convoy to Fort A. P. Hill
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157630134821782/

Support battalion Soldiers fly Raven UAV during annual training
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157630135091882/

Support battalion Soldiers make high quality H2O
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157630177642268/

Land Component Commander visits support battalion Soldiers
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157630177716818/

Maintenance Soldiers demonstrate Forward Repair System
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157630177962128/

Support battalion Soldiers conduct Combat Lifesaver training
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157630178098722/