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NC Guard Transportation Company trains with Airborne peers

By Sgt. 1st Class Robert Jordan | North Carolina National Guard | Oct. 19, 2020

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The North Carolina National Guard's 1452nd Combat Heavy Equipment Transporter Transportation Company supported the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division Oct. 15.

The logistics experts helped their Army peers move heavy equipment from training sites across Fort Bragg, allowing for more flexible training redeployment for the Airborne Soldiers and valuable experience for the Guard Soldiers.

"It is simple: One call and we can count on it; it makes it easier," said U.S. Army Capt. Hardy Temoney, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division.

One recent mission highlights the cooperation. The Holland Drop Zone is a sandy expanse surrounded by pine-covered hills at one of the many training sites on the huge base.

Airborne Soldiers finished packing the last of gear into smaller trucks and prepared to move back to their base. One item remained: a 400 horsepower, 47-foot-long Kalmar RT-240 Rough Terrain Container Handler (RTCH) weighing 118,000 lbs. The Soldiers used the RTCH to pack the large shipping containers loaded with the equipment used for the just-completed training mission.

A challenge to move back to base unless you happen to have an even bigger vehicle and people who can operate it safely.

"It is a specialized skill," said North Carolina National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Derek Winfree, a truck driver assigned to 1452nd.

The crew of three 1452nd Soldiers readied their 700 horsepower M1070 Truck Tractor with M1000 Heavy Equipment Transporter Semi-trailer. They swarmed over the 80-foot-long vehicle that can carry more than 70 tons.

The RTCH driver started the engine and slowly rolled toward the HET trailer ramps. Two of the NCNG Soldiers took positions at either end of the trailer to guide the driver of the RTCH by hand signals onto the trailer. It is a ballet of tons of equipment with inches of clearance on either side of the trailer.

Airborne and NCNG leaders checked and rechecked the RTCH portion as it crept closer to the front of the trailer. With the RTCH in place, Winfree raised both fists in the air, the signal to the driver to cut power and set the brakes. In a matter of minutes, the NCNG Soldiers secured the RTCH by chain. Next stop: a motor pool.

The 1452nd, based in Winston-Salem, is one of five HET transportation companies in the entire Army.