News | April 11, 2018

Soldiers purge excess in Clean Sweep event

By Christine Luciano, Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works, Environmental DLA Disposition Services

Ghost Riders from the 62nd Quartermaster Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, joined forces with the 289th Composite Supply Company, Sierra Army Depot, Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services, Inland Services and Fort Hood Recycle for the Clean Sweep Surge Event March 20-28.


Four hundred seventy-seven Light Medium Tactical Vehicles collectively purged more than 780,000 pounds of excess equipment and recyclables from their footprints.


The one-stop shop for turn in helped Soldiers like 2nd Lt. Eli McNeen, 8th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, easily dispose of everything from cubicle dividers to maintenance parts.


“The traditional process for turning in much of what we had, would have taken a lot more coordination for appointments and paperwork, so this event and its streamlined process saved a lot of time and effort for our Soldiers and leaders,” McNeen said. “It cleared up space in our battalion’s footprint, kept material out of the landfill and hopefully some of it gets into the hands of Soldiers who can use it.”


Capt. Michael Smith, commander, 62nd QM Co., coordinated the effort between agencies and multiple units to maximize the reuse and recycling of serviceable and unserviceable equipment.


“Sierra Army Depot personnel are experts at identifying what material can be utilized by the Army and were placed first in the screening process to ensure no taxpayer money was wasted,” Smith said. “They also directed material to DLA Disposition Services if something had to destroyed or demilitarized and worked closed with Fort Hood Recycle to minimize landfill waste.”


Barbara Roberts’, property disposal specialist/operations lead, DLA Disposition Services, team helped units with disposal solutions by accepting usable and unserviceable equipment and property requiring mutilation or demilitarization.


“DLA Disposition Services role in the Surge Event is to support the War Fighter’s readiness and lethality by receiving property to clear their area of property that does not qualify for recycle or landfill,” Roberts said. “We properly identify controlled property and ensure proper disposition for the sake of national security and the environment.”


Sierra Army Depot collected an estimated 185,000 pounds of unused and serviceable equipment that will be inventoried back into the Global Combat Support System. This not only helped units to clear out their CONEX containers and motor pools, but also saved the government money by reusing equipment.


“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Kathleen Bloom, material examiner and identifier, Sierra Army Depot, said. “We are able to put a lot of that material back into the GCSS system that provides a live inventory of what is available for units to use.”


Capt. Haley Freeman, home station commander, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cav. Div., and her Soldiers’ cleared out eight 20-foot containers full of everything from aircraft parts and rolls of wiring to antennas and buddy start cables.


“When my Soldiers were helping with turn-in, I reassured them that it was going back into the system and would be reutilized by the Army,” Freeman said. “The event was definitely a good opportunity for our unit to get rid of a lot of items that would have been a huge burden otherwise.”


Helping units to recycle 333,846 pounds of scrap metal and cardboard was Everett Estell, material handler, Fort Hood Recycle. Tent poles, damaged parts, concertina wire and broken cabinets were some of the items that quickly filled up in the blue recycle containers.


“We are working hand in hand with Sierra Army Depot and DLA to support units and accept recyclables that have been sitting in motor pools for years,” Estell said. “Soldiers don’t always get the support or direction they need, but we at Fort Hood Recycle enjoy helping and educating them about our services.”


Fifty Soldiers and 24 civilians supported the Clean Sweep Surge Event and helped Soldiers like McNeen and Freeman to save the government money, remove excess equipment from their footprints, place serviceable items back into the supply system and generate revenue for the installation’s recycle program.


“I’m definitely glad we were able to participate in this event and appreciate the Soldiers and civilians that made it possible,” McNeen said.


The success of the event received the attention of leaders from other installations. Smith shared that the event can be easily replicated and emphasized the importance of partnerships.


“It is extremely beneficial to have a period where the strategic partners come together and we surge to make it easy for units to turn-in excess,” Smith said. “If it doesn’t help you fight tonight, organize it by like item, put it on a truck and drive it to a turn-in site.”