CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq (October 28, 2011) — The number of convoys leaving Iraq is growing each day as Operation New Dawn nears the end of its mission.
October has been a busy month here, said Army Staff Sgt. Erick Torres, convoy commander, 233rd Transportation Company, as many military units on the base are packing up and sending their equipment back home.
“The most challenging part of this job is loading the vehicles,” said Torres, who hails from Phenix City, Ala.
Convoys of vehicles and equipment, he said, are being packed up and shipped out in preparation to exit Iraq.
Flatbed trucks carrying Humvees, tanks and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles are backed up to a ramp where the vehicles are carefully loaded. Once the cargo is loaded onto the trucks and the paperwork is complete, Torres said, the convoy is assembled at a staging area to await departure.
Meanwhile, tons of equipment needs to be shipped out before the year’s end, Torres said, so soldiers and civilian contractors work long hours to ensure all equipment is packed properly and ready for transit.
Part of a convoy commander’s job, Torres said, is identifying vehicles and equipment by serial number and matching them against unit rosters before they are shipped. It makes for long days, but it is a necessary part of the process, he added.