Soldiers with Bragg's 330th Movement Control Battalion keep equipment moving in Afghanistan
By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: April 18, 2014
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers of the 330th Movement Control Battalion arrived in Afghanistan last fall eager to get to work.
The soldiers, part of the 82nd Sustainment Brigade, oversee nearly 20 movement control teams across the country. In theater, they serve under another Fort Bragg unit, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command.
As troops and equipment continue to be prepared for the war's end, it does not move in Afghanistan without the 330th's knowledge.
But the soldiers, who have helped move thousands of pieces of equipment already and oversee roughly 100 missions each day, may stay longer than the nine months they originally planned for.
The unit set to relieve the 330th this summer, the 49th Transportation Battalion from Fort Hood, Texas, was struck by tragedy this month when a soldier entered the battalion's administrative offices and opened fire, killing three and wounding 16 others before turning the gun on himself.
The shootings have 330th soldiers wishing the best for the 49th while also wondering if the tragedy means they will stay here a little longer.
Lt. Col. Joseph Blanding, commander of the 330th, said the unit - with 54 soldiers in the headquarters - has a complex and challenging mission that calmed down tremendously during the Afghan elections but is expected to ramp up again this summer.
He said the mission is made somewhat easier by all the other Fort Bragg units in Afghanistan.
Command Sgt. Maj. Doreena Miles said many of the challenges involve Afghanistan's infrastructure.
Unlike Iraq, which had a more developed highway system, there is only one main road in Afghanistan, she said.
But Miles said she is happy and amazed by how her soldiers have responded to those challenges.
"You find a way to make it happen," she said. "It's just like anything - you have an up, you have a down, but for the most part, it's moving."