All around the railhead, company noncommissioned officers kept telling their Soldiers to stay hydrated for their mission in the morning. The goal was to keep everyone steady and focused.
Alpha Company’s mission is an important one. While the brigade’s deploying Soldiers were on their predeployment leave, the company transported loaded containers to Louisiana’s Alexandria International Airport in preparation for the brigade’s deployment.
“The connexes (containers) are on their way to Afghanistan to support the Patriot Security Forces Assistance Brigade.
It is important that these containers get to where they need to be,” said 2nd Lt. Robert Robertson, the officer in charge of the Alexandria mission for Alpha Company.
The next morning turned out to be wet, steamy and gloomy. As a storm rolled across Fort Polk, the convoy slowly rolled out of the gate.
“Our goal was to move from Fort Polk to the Alexandria airport safely. We gave ourselves a two hour window to get there,” said Sgt. 1st Class Percy D. Stander, Alpha Company.
“We left Fort Polk in the morning and made it to the airport in a little over an hour. We had to slow down because of the rain. Safety is always the most important issue in any mission.”
Alpha Company used the airport mission as a teaching opportunity as well.“We used it as an opportunity to train our Soldiers in driving and convoying,” said Stander. “Here in the motor pool and driving around Fort Polk, they really don’t get to do what they are trained for. This mission was a real eye-opener for some of the newer people as it got them away from post and allowed them to do their jobs.”