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NEWS | June 30, 2016

The 227th ICTC works hard at Sierra Army Depot

By Capt. Fernando Ochoa 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

HERLONG, Calif. – Col. Toni Glover, 650th Regional Support Group commanding officer, and Lt. Col. (P) Chandra Roberts, 469th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion commander, traveled to the Sierra Army Depot June 10 to visit Capt. Christen Brown, 227th Inland Cargo Transfer Company company commander.

The Sierra Army Depot is an ammunition and surplus storage terminal, located near the unincorporated community of Herlong, California. This site meets the requirement that the depot should be away from a large civilian community and has a dry and isolated terrain.

Select personnel from the 227th ICTC, 923rd and 924th Transportation Company Detachments conducted their annual training, where their primary focus was to both train on their individual MOS skills on real world maintenance, supply, and transportation tasks and also do hot mission tasks, maintaining unit integrity. 

“This annual training was a good experience because it accomplished many of our goals and was a force multiplier,” said Brown. “We also saved thousands of dollars by not having to pay for lodging, we helped the civilian staff by expediting container manager, plus; the availability of a firing range, computer lab and gym makes maintaining Soldier readiness very efficient.”

This annual training was manned by Transportation Management Coordinators, 88N, Automated Logistical Specialists, 92A, Wheeled Vehicle Mechanics, 91B, and Motor Transport Operators, 88M. 

Accompanied by Command Sgt. Maj. Mario Canizales, 650th RSG command sergeant major, Col. Glover toured the depot, driving throughout the facility from the stockyards, where hundreds of used vehicles are parked to the large container yard, where thousands of Connexs are stacked in row after row. 

The Connexs are moved around by civilian employees with the Kalmar RT-240 Rough Terrain Container Handler. With a staff of more than 1500 workers, this depot is always hard at work and an important part of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The transportation management coordinators and automated logistical specialists work aside the civilian workers, counting and inventorying thousands of Connexs. This is where supplies are deemed reusable or disposable. 

“The local workers were glad to see us and have been very hospitable,” said 1st Sgt. Robert Balcazar, 227th ICTC first sergeant. “It took five of our Soldiers three days to inventory 9000 containers, which gave them hands on real world experience.”

The wheeled vehicle mechanics and motor transport operators work in the depot motor pool with the civilian mechanical maintenance team, changing oil in 43 forklifts and replacing dozens of tires on numerous vehicles.

“This is the best annual training I have been to in the last three years,” said Sgt. Cassidy Glasser, 277th ICTC noncommissioned officer. “The best part of this AT was that we were actually performing tasks that we were taught in our Advanced Individual Training school house.”

Spread over 35,000 acres, this Army facility is laid over wide open spaces and is home to a wide variety of wild life, including coyotes, wolves and rabbits. 

The Sierra Army Depot is committed to continually improving the quality and effectiveness of their processes, while satisfying statutory and regulatory requirements to better and meet their customers’ expectations. 

“Of all the units and exercise sites I have visited this year, the Sierra Army Depot is by far the most interesting,” said Glover. “From saving money to training Soldiers in their designated MOSs, this site has proven to be valued added.  I recommend we consider it more often as a potential site for my units to conduct their annual training.”

The core customers for the Sierra Army Depot include the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, the United States Army Medical Materiel Agency, the Soldier Biological Chemical Command, the U.S. Army Field Support Command and the Operations Support Command.