21 June 2008

"Units in our AO go through ammunition really fast..."

Soldiers from Alpha Company, 173rd Brigade Support Battalion load ammunition onto a Chinook helicopter on Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar province. They are responsible for supplying an area the size of Maryland with ammunition. Photo: Staff Sgt. Brandon Aird.

Up to 200 tons a day, as a matter of fact.

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Six Soldiers work around the clock at the ammunition point on Forward Operating Base Fenty in Nangarhar province, to supply Task Force Bayonet with ammunition.

The Soldiers from Alpha Company, 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, move ammunition to International Security Assistance Forces working in Nuristan, Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar provinces.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment and the 173rd Special Troops Battalion, all rely on these six Soldiers for their ammunition.

Supply and demand in the area is extremely high, according to Staff Sgt. Dana Green, a Soldier in Alpha Company. In one day, over 200 tons of ammunition was recently pushed to numerous FOBs.

“Units in our (area of operation) tend to go through ammunition really fast,” said Spc. Matthew Harvey, a Soldier in Alpha Company. “Just one fire fight can leave the guys ‘black’ (short) on ammunition.”

Artillery, rockets, mortars, small arms and machine gun ammunition are accounted for and delivered by Alpha Company. Alpha Company conducts sling loads, hot loads (loading cargo onto a helicopter while the blades are spinning), and convoys to help get the ammunition across an area the size of Maryland. ...

Alpha Company has been in Afghanistan for 14 months and, since September, has handled over $23 million worth of ammunition.

In the next few months, Alpha Company will relinquish the ammunition point to Soldiers in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Click here for more 173rd ABCT Afghanistan posts.

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