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Newly Wrapped Trailers Display ‘Guard on the Move’

By Army Sgt. Tresa L. Allemang
Special to American Forces Press Service

ALEXANDRIA, La., Oct. 24, 2008 – Along with the variety of camouflaged military vehicles that rolled along Louisiana’s roadways during hurricanes Gustav and Ike, two newly wrapped trailers, covered with an American flag design and National Guard logo, rushed to distribution points to make deliveries to soldiers and residents in need of supplies.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
A newly wrapped trailer with an American flag design and the Louisiana National Guard logo parks at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office on Camp Beauregard, La., before making its first public appearance in response to hurricanes Gustav and Ike. U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Tresa L. Allemang

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The moving billboards recently were added to the Louisiana Army National Guard’s fleet, and they made their first runs hauling water, ice, meals and cots.

The National Guard distributed more than 15 million bottles of water, 13.4 million pounds of ice, 11.6 million packaged meals and 55,000 tarps during its response to the hurricanes, Army Capt. Marc E. Prymek, deputy director of military support at the Joint Operations Center at Camp Beauregard, La., said.

“The fact that [the trailers] are wrapped draws attention and gives people the opportunity to see that the Guard is working not only during disasters, but constantly, to ensure readiness for any given mission,” said Army Master Sgt. John D. Jewell, a Louisiana Guardsman.

The vehicles’ regular mission of supplying armories was put on hold for about a month to assist with hurricane response, he said.

Jewell, who has been a truck driver for 25 years at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office on Camp Beauregard, said the vehicles are used to haul equipment ordered by armories across the state and are called the “Big D” -- for “delivery” -- by Guardsmen.

The trucks could be seen just about anywhere during the hurricanes, but this was just the beginning for them, as they now assume normal duties, Jewell said.

Supplies come in to the central warehouse on Camp Beauregard, then the two trucks spend about three weeks to deliver them to all of the states’ 79 armories.

(Army Sgt. Tresa L. Allemang serves with the 199th Brigade Support Battalion.)

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