With each passing week, trains, planes and automobiles are moving the 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, across the country one piece at a time.
Recently, brigade soldiers kicked off the big move for the upcoming rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., by preparing shipping containers for rail transport.
During the week of Jan. 29, the brigade continued the moving process with line haul operations, a process to move equipment by truck. More than 60 vehicles and more than 40 shipping containers were loaded onto 18-wheelers for the major training exercise lasting about one month.
“Each unit has pieces of equipment that require different types of transportation,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel McMillen, a mobility officer with Ironhorse’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “(Line hauling) just makes it more flexible for us, and it gives us another option ... and (it) also meets the time requirements for those items we need there quick to get the mission done.”
A train may take two weeks to get to NTC, but line-hauled equipment can arrive between 24 hours and five days, McMillen said.
Although trucks are the speedy way to get gear where it needs to go, weather, traffic conditions and maintenance issues can get in the way.
McMillen said the biggest challenge during line haul operations is coordinating to ensure everyone is in the right place.