The special events hangar on Rhine Ordnance Barracks is no longer just a hangar where spring bazaars and monthly indoor flea markets are held, and it is no longer located on Rhine Ordnance Barracks. It’s not even in Germany.
The hangar is the headquarters for the 39th Transportation Battalion, and the unit is deployed to Kuwait – sort of.
The 39th Transportation Bn. conducted a mission readiness exercise March 26 to 31 at the hangar to help them prepare for their upcoming deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“We are a movement control battalion, and we are the command and control for theater transportation of all assets into Iraq from Kuwait and internally in Kuwait,” said Lt. Col. Bob Curran, 39th Trans. Bn. commander. “(We will) synergize with the movement control battalion in Iraq.”
During the exercise, participants not only reacted to scenarios provided to them by their higher command and the exercise’s observer controllers, they also reacted to real-life events that are happening in Kuwait.
The Soldiers in the 39th Trans. Bn. are in contact with the unit they will be replacing in Kuwait and are reacting to events that are happening to that unit.
At the conclusion of the exercise, the leaders of the 39th Trans. Bn. can go back and compare how their Soldiers reacted to how the unit currently in Kuwait handled the situation.
“It’ll help them see in real life what their mission will be downrange. They have been performing their wartime missions right now so that they won’t go down there blind,” said Staff Sgt. Dana Brown, entry control point non-commissioned officer in charge for the exercise.
Despite the hectic pace of the exercise, morale was still high.
“Our morale has been high. Everyone has been working really hard on the scenarios given to them by the observer controllers,” said Capt. Akaninyene Okon, the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 39th Trans. Bn.