MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania — A heavy equipment transporter team verified main supply routes capable of moving an M1A2 Abrams tank on a HET convoy that started Dec. 6 in Romania en route to Bulgaria.
“The 16th Sustainment Brigade’s HET proof of principle enables uninterrupted combat power generation, endurance and operational reach in support of the United States Army Europe forces,” said Col. Michelle M.T. Letcher, 16th Sustainment Brigade commander. “Our junior leaders and allies executing the convoy are validating freedom of movement and the ability to move combat power along interior lines of communication.”
The convoy consisted of six vehicles: two M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporters, two M1078 Light Medium Tactical Vehicles, one M969 Fueler and one M984 Wrecker.
A total of 13 Soldiers coming from three different companies in the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion planned, prepared and executed the convoy operation.
The junior leaders from the 16th Sustainment Brigade worked in conjunction with Romanian and Bulgarian NATO allies, as their military and civilian escorts integrated in the convoy to make sure the routes were clear to travel.
“We are working with our allies to proof routes required to enable the ‘speed of assembly’ required for tactical and operational maneuver,” said Maj. Gen Duane Gamble, 21st Theater Sustainment Command commanding general. “Proofing routes helps us understand where we have freedom of movement and where we must apply leadership, effort and resources to achieve the freedom of movement required to deter and defend.”
“The proof of principle offers a unique set of opportunities for my Soldiers and me,” said 1st Lt. Adrian Dilley, 317th Support Maintenance Company platoon leader. “The mission allows Soldiers to extend their influence beyond the chain of command, and it establishes routes that will be used by the United States military as a whole.”
At the end of the six-day convoy operation, Soldiers completed their validation of heavy equipment transportation routes in Romania and Bulgaria, many of which had been previously untraveled by military vehicles from the U.S. Army.