Soldiers assigned to 541st Transportation Company recently conducted leaders time training with Red Currahee Soldiers.
The May 13 event with elements of 541st Tran. Co., 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), was conducted in support of 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team’s field training exercise.
“It was important for us to get some real-world training for our distro platoon, “said Capt. Austin Faulkner, commander of J Company, 1-506th Inf. Regt. “Our fuelers got the opportunity to familiarize themselves with equipment they’ve never seen before. The training mirrored what we would do at JRTC. I appreciate 129th CSSB’s assistance in making our FTX as realistic as possible.”
The 541st Trans. Co. Soldiers provided hands-on instruction to the Red Currahee Soldiers during the first phase of the training that focused on bulk transfer fueling operations between M967 fuel tankers and the M978 heavy expanded mobility tactical truck fuel servicing truck to provide familiarization on the equipment.
Staff Sergeant Chadrick Feller, a motor transport operator and noncommissioned officer in charge, and native of Terre Haute, Ind., commended his team’s efforts and their ability to conduct training outside the brigade and lead the way in this new training opportunity.
“This experience was a big deal for our fuel hogs as connecting a ROM [refuel on the move] kit to the M967 fuel tanker is something that is not typically done and we had the opportunity to do it for the first time,” Feller said. “Soldiers were excited to be out of the motor pool and on mission.”
Although successful overall, the training provided insight into areas outside of normal capabilities that 541st Trans. Co. can improve upon. It also provided an opportunity for them to think outside of their wheelhouse, Feller said.
“It gave our Soldiers the chance to learn something new and work outside of their normal everyday duties and allowed for not only self-development but for team development as well,” he said. “It was a great day to be a fuel hog and the Soldiers of the 541st look forward to missions in the future.”
Successfully conducting a ROM with M967 fuel tankers at Fort Knox, Kentucky, certified training for 541st Trans. Co. Soldiers to conduct fueling operations.
The primary purposes of ROM operations are to provide a fuel splash for convoy movements to extend maneuverability to reach the intended destination when complete refueling operations are either not practical or unneeded and to provide fuel between engagements to extend the time that U.S. forces can spend on the objective, according to Army Techniques Publication 4-43, Petroleum Supply Operations.
“We have no idea when we will be called upon to provide our services to any real-world crisis, however with the experience we gained throughout Guardian Response we are confident we will be ready when called on to protect our nation,” said 1st Sgt. Kendrick Letman, 541st Trans. Co.
The 541st Trans. Co. was tasked to provide Class IIIB to 129th CSSB convoys going to and from Camp Atterbury, Indiana, for execution of Guardian Response 21, or GR21.
“At the receipt of our warning order, 541st Soldiers began training on the equipment to prepare for the mission,” Feller said. “We had mock setups in the motor pool to ensure all Soldiers knew how to properly layout the ROM kit and to gauge a timeframe on how long it would take them to set up and be ready to fuel from their stations.”
More than 7,000 gallons of fuel was distributed using the ROM kit, in support of GR21.
Phase One training with 541st Trans. Co set the way forward for future training opportunities, Faulkner said.
“We are hoping to conduct Phase Two training that includes a Class IIIB transfer for refueling operations at our battalion FTX in July,” he said.