By Spc. Walter Klein, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
Dec. 12, 2007 - The 4th Infantry Division began deploying to Kuwait in early November for final preparations before taking over as the headquarters element of Multinational Division Baghdad. To help facilitate the movement of soldiers through Kuwait and into Baghdad, the Division Tactical Advance Center here stood up to provide final training to MND Baghdad soldiers as they move to the combat zone to assume their duties.
The DTAC team is responsible for organizing inbound and outbound flights, logistical concerns such as water and ammunition, and setting up training for soldiers.
Perhaps the most important section of the DTAC is the Division Transportation Office, which is responsible for moving soldiers, equipment and supplies.
"Nothing happens till something moves," said Army Staff Sgt. Lonnie Johnson, a logistics noncommissioned officer and a native of Hollywood, Fla. "We are responsible for all incoming and outgoing flights, all vehicle moves for 4th Infantry Division, as well as other MND-B units arriving in Kuwait."
Another important section in the Division Tactical Advance Center is the Joint Network Node team. They are responsible for setting up communications, running phone lines and setting up satellite trucks that coordinate with Division G6 communications and electronics.
"We are responsible for managing the communications network, installing communications in the Tactical Operations Center and keeping the brigade combat teams in contact with MND-B," said Army Pfc. Joshua Turner, a signal support specialist with Company C, Special Troops Battalion, and an Atlanta native.
The personnel office and the operations and training office are responsible for in-processing soldiers in Kuwait and seeing to their final training on subjects including improvised-explosive-device recognition, fratricide-prevention training, weapons ranges, and counter-remote-control improvised-explosive-device electronic warfare.
The logistics section's role is to see to the needs of the soldiers while they are in Kuwait, including distributing water, ammunition and food. They also are responsible for tracking down equipment soldiers need before moving onto Baghdad and maintenance issues that might arise while in Kuwait. This mission encompasses all soldiers that fall under Multinational Division Baghdad.
The communications and electronics helpdesk also plays a crucial role in the transition. "We help keep the (Tactical Operations Center) running, solving any computer problems that may pop up while we move our soldiers and equipment to Kuwait," said Army Sgt. Owen Martin, a helpdesk NCO and a native of Sioux City, Iowa.
(Army Spc. Walter Klein is assigned to 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs.)