News | June 3, 2016

TF Steel Knight keeps essential supplies moving for Exercise Anakonda

By 1st Lt. Jonathan Lazo and 1st Lt. Julie McCabe 39th Tranportation. Battalion (MC), 16th Sustainment Brigade

"I am tempted to make a slightly exaggerated statement: that logistics is all of war-making, except shooting the guns, releasing the bombs, and firing the torpedoes," Adm. Lynde D. McCormick, the first supreme allied commander of NATO forces in the Atlantic, famously said. 

Soldiers from 39th Transportation Battalion arrived at Drawsko-Pomorskie training area on May 10 ready to execute onward movement for exercise Anakonda '16 and worked diligently to accomplish that mission during subsequent weeks. 

Task Force Steel Knight was created to handle this massive logistical undertaking. The task force consists of elements from the 51st Transportation Company, 515th Transportation Company and 66th Transportation Company of the 39th Transportation Battalion and the 1st Inland Cargo Transfer Company of 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. 

One of the team's key missions is distributing all the incoming and outgoing equipment off the ports and railheads in a timely manner. 

"Within just the first week of supporting Anakonda '16, the TF transported over 1.5 million pounds of cargo over a combined total of 12,500 miles in support of units across Poland," said 1st Lt. Jonathan Lazo, a platoon leader with the 51st Trans. Co. "This exercise truly tests our operational capabilities."

Colleagues also noted the importance of food and water transport.

"Another crucial role is delivering food and water rations, also known as Class I," said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Borum, a platoon sergeant with the 66th Trans. Co. "As the Defense Logistics Agency pushes food and water forward to the main supply points, the soldiers then break it down, and distribute it to outlying bases throughout Poland."

Task force personnel described the mission as a developmental opportunity as well as an essential requirement. 

"Nowhere else in the Army do logistics soldiers get to perform their mission on a regular basis like here in Europe. It is a true test of everything I have learned," said Spc. David Mancipe of 51st Trans. Co. 

According to Lazo, TF Steel Knight will continue conducting onward movement throughout the duration of Anakonda. Afterward, the soldiers will begin the retrograde effort from over 16 bases back to Drawsko Pomorskie.

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