05 August 2010

Keep on Trucking

Knowing Archer, he's not counting sheep when he racks out for sleep these days--he's counting trucks.

Archer has been living a logistician's dream this week: There's been a constant convoy of civilian semi-trailer trucks loading up our Army equipment for the move to Mississippi.

"A lot of people in the country don't even know there's a war on," Archer says, "but the American Trucker does."

Iowans know, too. Our highways have been thick with commercial buses packed with troops, and semi-trailers pregnant with Humvees and Hemmets. The Red Bull is on the move again.

The load-out is a family affair, with an Alabama mom-and-pop team directing traffic and driving vehicles off the loading ramps. One of the employees looks to be barely driving age, but is fearless driving a wide Humvee onto a semi-trailer. "I've never been this far away from Alabama before," he says. "Can you find arrowheads around here?"

Archer chats up the truckmaster, and starts talking low-boys and short-tons and turnarounds and travel times. Patting his pockets, the truckmaster doesn't have any business cards left. "I just handed my card out to 120 truck drivers," he smiles.

One trucker, a Vietnam-era Marine, says it's too bad we can't just use the equipment that's already over there. He's just talking as a taxpayer now. If he were going, he admits, he'd want everything he could get his hands on. Lord knows he couldn't get enough of anything in Vietnam, he says.

I tell him not to worry, that a lot of the stuff we're hauling won't make it to Afghanistan. The Army makes sure soldiers get the latest-and-greatest equipment, and unarmored Humvees--to name just one example--aren't much in military style anymore. We'll send only what we need overseas--stuff that isn't already over there--and send the rest back home to Iowa when the time comes.

If you're at a truckstop or rest area sometime, and come across a commercial driver who's hauling military equipment, tell him or her thanks: They've got patriotism by the mile. And the truckload.


  1. Sherpa, When we went to OIF 3, our bn loaded every single veh and items of equipment we had...because none of the Pogues had ever deployed. We had CANVAS humvees! They thougth we would actaully use them.
    I asked a few times: "Don't they already have crap there for the unit we're replacing that we'll just take over---like the last deployment I was on?"

    They just looked at me like I was nuts. They moved tons and tons of crap. When it got there, it sat in the back and never got used. As far as I know, a lot of it is still in Iraq....never to be seen again.
    All they had to do was e-mail the unit we were replacing and ask: "What should we bring?"

  2. @ CI-Roller Dude: Our problem is that we need our equipment for certain phases of training prior to heading downrange. And it's going to be a challenge, I'm sure, to get people licensed on different vehicles, both here and over there.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.