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NEWS | Aug. 7, 2018

Exercise Dragon Lifeline trains Soldiers in air, land, rail, sea environment

By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The 841st Transportation Battalion and 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command hosted Dragon Lifeline, an exercise equipping Soldiers stationed in North Carolina and Virginia, with the opportunity to sharpen their skills in air, land, rail and sea transportation operations from July 30 to Aug. 3.

“Dragon Lifeline is a readiness exercise between different elements from Fort Bragg, Fort Eustis and Joint Base Charleston,” said U.S. Army Maj. Edgard Davila, 330th Movement Control Battalion operations officer, Fort Bragg, N.C. “We can build capabilities and skills for any kind of requirement or movement. We need this exercise to build our networking and to better trust and understand each other.”

Soldiers trained at the rail system of Joint Base Charleston’s Naval Weapons Station Wharf Alpha, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at the Charleston Harbor, and JB Charleston’s flight line. From planning to execution, Soldiers from these installations were able to share knowledge and learn from subject matter experts of the 841st TB.

The 841st TB deploys and conducts surface deployment, redeployment distribution and water terminal operations to support and sustain the warfighter. The battalion’s leadership took advantage of the 841st TB’s Soldier’s experience and diverse features of Joint Base Charleston to bolster the quality of the training experience.

“Joint Base Charleston is an ideal location because the distance between Fort Bragg and here is fairly easy to convoy down,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Brenton Breed, 841st Transportation Battalion. “Once you’re here you have multi-modal transportation all within a small area.”

Dragon Lifeline served as a way to validate deployment plans and refine outload and deployment procedures. Soldiers were able to become familiar and gain experience in these multi-modal deployment operations, while maintaining safety standards. Ensuring work is done efficiently and correctly is paramount.

“When we’re loading vehicles we have to have a ground person because safety is most important,” said U.S. Army Spc. Blake Patterson, 149th Seaport Operations Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade.  “I make sure they aren’t going to hit anything and that there is no one around them when they’re driving. It really benefits everyone here. Everyone gets hands-on experience.”

No matter what method is used to move sustainment equipment to the warfighter, Soldiers that attended Dragon Lifeline were able to experience ways to do it effectively. Getting more proficient at their craft is not the only thing Soldiers hope the exercise can provide. For some, cultivating a stronger team dynamic is just as meaningful.

 “I hope we build a bond … become a family,” said U.S. Army Spc. Markeith Hickman, 359th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade. “I hope we get more proficient in our job while having a good time.”