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News | Oct. 24, 2007

JTF-Bravo convoy tests vehicle capabilities, identifies potential problems

By Staff Sgt. Austin M. May Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

Oct. 19, approximately 18 United States military vehicles travelled in a convoy between Soto Cano Air Base and the village of Lejamani for a routine maintenance exercise.

The purpose of this training was to keep the vehicles in operation and identify any issues with the vehicles so they could be fixed, said Army Maj. Michael Angell.

Air Force 1st Lt. Brian Robertson, the convoy officer in charge, said the training couldn't have been more of a success.

"Our goal was to execute convoy operations that resulted in a trained and ready joint team," he said. "The operation helped to highlight strengths and will assist us in tailoring our training program and equipment readiness to better meet the needs of Joint Task Force-Bravo and the people of Honduras.

"All personnel and vehicles returned safely and that is the definition of success in any training event," he continued. "We absolutely exceeded our goals."

The lieutenant said the level of preparation the members of the convoy had led to its success.

"The realities of our equipment's age and condition created minor concerns," he said. "But our emphasis on safety, maintenance and proper execution helped us to avoid any problems."

Major Angell said while an operation such as this one hadn't been done in at least a year, he expects the unit to begin doing them once a month.

"Army vehicles break when they just sit around," he said. "When they're run regularly though, they work great."

Several days before the convoy rolled, an advisory was sent to local media to inform the population of the event and instruct them on what to do if they encountered the vehicles.

"We chose to minimize our impact on the daily lives of the local population," Lieutenant Robertson said. "As such, we didn't have much contact outside of friendly smiles and waves as our vehicles passed them by. The people of La Paz and Comayagua couldn't have been more welcoming to us."