Story and Photo by
Sgt. Chris Huddleston
45th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sust. Command
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Soldiers from the 647th Quartermaster Detachment, 45th Special Troops Battalion, held a training event for the leadership and staff, here, May 14.
The “Teach Me How to Rig” training focused on rigging operations and the teamwork required to successfully accomplish a rigging mission.
“Today is about teamwork,” said 1st Lt. Tie She Morgan, commander, 647th QM Det., 45th STB, 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, during the initial briefing. “You can’t perform rigging ops without teamwork.”
Training began with the prep team demonstrating proper preparation, including cutting “honeycomb” packing material, tie-down cord and setting up pallets.
“I was nervous at first to brief a bunch of officers,” said Spc. Cruz Celis, prep team chief, 647th QM Det., “But talking about rigging, the job I do every day, once I started briefing, it was easy.”
After prep team’s demonstration, the rigging team took over and showed the participants how to build a pallet of bottled water for aerial delivery. This portion included a quick class from Staff Sgt. Leigh Barnard, detachment noncommissioned officer in charge, 647th QM Det., on how to tie the required knots for the mission.
Having acquired the skills needed to succeed, the team from the 45th STB, began their mission: Rig 15 bundles of water in three hours to provide re-supply to ground forces low on supplies.
“I learned the importance of the rigger’s mission and the various procedures they must conduct to fulfill critical mission requirements,” said Master Sgt. Maurice Williams, operations NCOIC, 45th STB. “It was remarkable, hands-on training and it felt good to actually work in that position, now I have a clearer insight into their (military occupation specialty).”
Everyone involved learned some important lessons.
“Teamwork is key to efficient operations,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Hyatt, commander, 45th STB. “Also, attention to detail is critical as specific rigging procedures are developed to ensure the bundles properly drop. Failure to follow instructions could result in a bundle being damaged and thus being useless to the warfighter. Lastly, it’s clear that rigging 15 bundles is hard work.”
The training gave the leadership of the 45th STB a chance to experience the work the 647th QM Det. Soldiers do every day and learn skills outside their own day to day jobs.
“It was excellent training that was easily resourced and provided multiple tangible benefits, including specifically that the bundles we rigged will be used for an actual mission,” Hyatt said. “Any other organization could replicate this event with equal success and would be welcome to do so by the ‘Riggers.’”