During a year-long deployment in Iraq, a detachment of Soldiers from the 99th Movement Control Team, 1st Transportation Management Control Agency proved that when it comes to getting the job done, size doesn’t matter.
The 12-person 99th Transportation Detachment returned to its home base in Aviano Air Base, Italy, June 23 after having helped successfully move trucks transporting coalition sustainment cargo into Iraq from Turkey. In Iraq, they were attached to the 1st and 13th Corps Support Commands as well as the 49th and 484th Transportation Battalions.
Although small in size, the detachment impacted transportation missions in its area, handling an operation previously done by an element more than twice its size.
The Soldiers worked out of the Ibrahim Khalil/Habur Gate Customs Facility in northern Iraq and manifested the cargo of more than 400 convoys consisting of nearly 200,000 trucks delivering supplies to various forward operating bases and logistic support areas throughout Iraq.
The detachment also took on a secondary mission of providing command and control of the Convoy Support Center, which offers billeting, medical care and rations for the Soldiers, Airmen and Marines who man the heavily armed gun trucks that escort convoys.
The Soldiers also reached out to the local Iraqi community. They instituted an aid program called Operation Helping Hands. Their family members, friends, churches and stateside agencies sent clothing, toys and educational items to improve the quality of life for the local Iraqi populace. Those efforts went a long way toward improving relations with the Iraq military in the Kurdistan region, said Staff Sgt. Jeffery Nelson, program organizer.
“When we would stop places, the kids came from everywhere around and just wanted to be around the Americans and get their picture taken,” Sergeant Nelson said.