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310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command report
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq (10/3/11) - As Soldiers completed their pre-mission checks and prepared everything for transport, it seemed the job of escorting supply trucks from here to Contingency Operating Site Mosul would be just another routine mission Sept. 15.
However, this day marked a rare occasion for two Kentucky National Guard Soldiers of Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. Though not uncommon for family members to serve together in the same unit, this day a father and son teamed up on not only the same mission, but in the same truck.
“It’s a unique experience for sure to actually be doing real-world missions with your son as a gunner and seeing him in that atmosphere,” said Army Master Sgt. Micah B. Mason, an assistant operations noncommissioned officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 149 Infantry Regiment.
“It’s something very few parents get to do. I’m excited to actually go on a mission and experience it first-hand with my son.”
Mason, who has served in the Guard for more than 28 years, usually watches convoy escort missions unfold as a shift battle NCO in charge of the unit’s tactical operations center. However, this time the unit sent him on this mission as part of an ongoing effort to ensure everyone in the TOC is able to see what goes on first-hand during the missions they monitor daily.
“I have a lot of concerns…if something does happen [on the mission],” Mason said before the mission began. “I’m glad I’m there with him, though.”
Mason said he only told two people back home about he and his son doing this mission together before it happened, but his son didn’t find out until moments before the mission.
“I didn’t know he was going till I saw him sitting out by the trucks,” said Army Pfc. Micah Mason, a gunner with Delta Company, 1/149th Inf. Regiment. “It just makes me happy to actually do something with him, to let him see what I do on a day-to-day basis.”
Pfc. Mason said he had been waiting to be able to go on a mission with his father, as not many people can say that they have done that.
The mission was successful.
“Things went very smooth,” Master Sgt. Mason said. “The convoy escort team knew their jobs very well and were professional every step of the way. Being out with my son was the chance of a lifetime. It was very strange to see him doing his job, being in control. But in the same sense, I was very proud.”