• April 21, 2014

Gamblers support gunnery

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Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:30 am

Soldiers can’t eat, tanks won’t move and weapons won’t fire without logistics support.

Forward Support Company “Gamblers” of 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, provided the support needed to execute Table XV Gunnery, at Fort Hood from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8.

The support plan included a range of support operations such as establishing a logistics resupply point, setting up field feeding sites, maintaining every piece of equipment across the battalion and distributing ammunition.

“We support the batteries (or) companies,” said 1st Sgt. Leon Johnson, the Gamblers’ senior noncommissioned officer. “Whatever things we can’t do, the (115th Brigade Support Battalion) will help us. The bottom line is, if the enemy is out there and (the battalion) has to shoot artillery ... to protect our soldiers, we have to be able to do that. Our sustaining the batteries ... helps makes that mission happen.”

Split operations enable Gamblers to provide forward and rear support to Dragon Batteries conducting gunnery qualification, said Capt. Quentin Benjamin, the Gamblers’ commander.

The company operated from two locations, a Field Trains Command Post near garrison and a Combat Trains Command Post located close to maneuver elements. The field post was the hub for supplies to restock the combat post, operating as a nearby support location for batteries.

The Gamblers ensured soldiers had what they needed by making daily rounds.

“It’s a never-ending chain of resupply to the (combat post) or to the battery,” Benjamin said.

Maintainers, cooks and distribution specialists worked mainly out of the combat post.

Some maintainers were attached to each battery for on-the-spot needs during missions, and maintainers come equipped with a portable tool shop for on-site repairs.

The maintainers also served as recovery assets and towed vehicles that broke down in transit.

“Our primary mission out here is (to) make sure these guns (keep) shooting,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Vela, a Gambler artillery mechanic.

Along with the maintainers, cooks operated out of the combat post to ensure soldiers got two hot meals delivered every day.

The distribution and transportation platoons were responsible for a wide range of tasks supporting Dragon needs. They provided ammunition, fuel and water, received expended rounds and more.

“When something needs (to be) refueled (or) resupplied, we go get it,” said 1st Lt. Deric Stokes, the Gamblers executive officer. “That’s basically our job, to keep this battalion moving.”

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