Thursday, January 03, 2008

Delivering Christmas Dinner in Iraq

An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter provides aerial support and reconnaissance during a convoy near Al Kisak, Iraq

Soldiers from Packhorse Troop, 3rd Regimental Support Squadron, Armored Cavalry Regiment, relax after a convoy to Al Kisak, Iraq

Staff Sgt. Elbert Burns tosses a package of bottled water to Cpl. Philip Lott during a delivery of rations to Al Kisak, Iraq, Dec. 23. Burns, of Austin, Texas, and Lott, of Phoenix, are assigned to Packhorse Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Soldiers unload boxes of supplies for Christmas dinner at Al Kisak, Iraq, Dec. 23. Vehicles from Packhorse Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, delivered pallets of food, water and a tanker of fuel to the American Soldiers stationed at the Iraqi army training compound

Vehicles from Packhorse Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment prepare for a convoy to Al Kisak, Iraq, Dec. 23. The convoy delivered Christmas food rations to the few American Soldiers stationed at the Iraqi army training compound.

Muleskinners Bring Good Tidings:
Logistics Convoy Delivers Christmas Rations

Multi-National Division – North Public Affairs Office
Story & Photos By Spc. Eric A. Rutherford, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

MOSUL, Iraq – While people back in America were rushing around to finish up last-minute shopping, Soldiers from 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment worked diligently to prepare for a logistical convoy in the freezing morning air several hours before the sun came up.

Soldiers of “Muleskinners,” Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd ACR, Packhorse Troop, Supply and Transportation platoon checked their weapons systems and radios, ensuring they were set to roll out of the gate to make the almost three-hour convoy to Al Kisak, where they delivered fuel, drinking water and rations. The most significant part of the delivery was the Christmas dinner fixings for the American troops stationed at the Iraqi army training center.

Throughout northern Iraq, many of the smaller bases have few of the comforts of home. The S&T platoon provides the lifeline for these places, providing everything from fuel to hygiene supplies. The Soldiers at Al Kisak look forward to the supply convoys bringing food, sometimes going for two weeks in between deliveries.

“Al Kisak doesn’t have as much as a forward operating base does, so we have to deliver the food out to them,” Said 1st. Lt. Angela Somnuk, S&T platoon leader.

Somnuk, of Miami, said this delivery had four pallets of items specifically for the Christmas meals, along with the normal delivery of fuel, food and water.

The 11 vehicle convoy of palletized load system trucks and gun-truck escorts arrived to find Soldiers waiting to unload the goods. Soldiers on the unloading detail were not just from the dinning facility staff.

Sgt. Travis Mendenhall, a mechanic who trains the Iraqi army soldiers on vehicle maintenance came out to help with the delivery.

“We only get ten days rations at a time here,” said Mendenhall, of Fort Hood. “Out here, you have to work for everything you have. Everyone comes out and helps, no matter where you work here.”

Soldiers from Packhorse made the Christmas delivery then settled in for the night on the Spartan IA compound. Just as they had the previous morning, the Soldiers were up before the sun, preparing to move back home in the below-freezing temperatures.

Soldiers at Al Kisak may not have many of the comforts of home this holiday season, but because Packhorse is on the road with supplies, they can at least enjoy a little taste of home in the form of a Christmas dinner.


Another great story from our friend Eric! Thanks Eric!

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