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Armory helps support U.S. Forces transition out of Iraq

  • Published
  • By 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
  • Senior Airman Eric Summers Jr.
The drawdown of U.S. service members from Iraq to meet a Dec. 31, withdrawal deadline has made headlines around the world. What is less well known is the work done behind the scenes to make the exit a reality.

All of the "beans and bullets" and other various instruments of war used in Iraq since the war began in March of 2003 have to find their way back to the United States or to military units stationed in other areas of the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. In addition, personnel and their gear continue to transit through these same areas throughout the AOR in support of current operations.

Airmen at the 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Transient Armory here stand ready to help fellow service members make that transition as painless as possible when it comes to weapons.

Because few Airmen are allowed to possess or carry firearms at this location, Armory Airmen store and maintain accountability of transient weapons, according to Staff Sgt. Danielle Posada, 379 ELRS NCO in charge of the Transient Armory.

"We log every serial number and all ammo to maintain 100 percent accountability at all times," said Posada, a native of Roy, Utah, deployed from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Violating host nation laws can lead to the deportation, black-listing or fining of a service member. Transient Armory personnel also store and account for prohibited items such as night-vision goggles, knives and laser-pointers, which is why transient personnel are briefed on dos and don'ts said Senior Airman Nicholas Litton, 379 ELRS Transient Armory representative, deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va..

Because of the Iraqi drawdown, the Armory can serve from one or two customers a day to more than 200 at one time.

"For about a week we were constantly busy," said Litton, a native of Waverly, Texas, who works on the night-shift. "People were dropping off weapons to go home and some to go downrange. We would have big groups come in and it was kind of crazy but fun at the same time."

The armory has also received a number of weapons that were prepositioned at bases in Iraq.

This is the first deployment for Posada, who normally works in an LRS warehouse at her home station.

"I got some weapons familiarization [before] coming here and qualified on the M-9 Beretta and M-16 Assault Rifle," she said. "But I enjoy the social aspect [of the job] the most.

"We get to interact with Soldiers and Marines and different units from all over the area of responsibility," she added.