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Soldiers Perform Iraq Drawdown Mission in Kuwait

By Army Spc. Jason Adolphson
1st Sustainment Brigade

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, April 2, 2010 – Twenty-four-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week, soldiers are spraying, scrubbing and wiping down vehicles and equipment at the wash rack here.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Spc. Anthony Simms sprays down a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle at the wash rack at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, March 25, 2010. Simms and fellow soldiers with the 1058th Transportation Company wash equipment returning to Kuwait in the drawdown from Iraq, before transitioning it out to other locations. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jason Adolphson
  

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

The wash rack serves as a tool for regular maintenance, but the water pressure has been cranked up a notch as everything passing through the camp in response to the Iraq drawdown gets a good, solid cleansing before transitioning out to other locations.

"There's a big waterfall of equipment coming out of Iraq, as we get closer to the deadline for the drawdown," said Army Maj. Bo Donohoo, 2nd Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Brigade.

The adjoining storage area serves as a collection point for billions of dollars’ worth of equipment, including mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, Donohoo said.

"Every MRAP is over $1 million and we've got about 500 here," he said. The lot also has tanks, Bradleys and Humvees, in addition to non-rolling stock items.

"The Army is a living, breathing animal," Donohoo said. "All of that theater-required equipment that has been purchased over the last eight years for Iraq is coming down here. We get it to the wash rack and get it moving."

About 500 tactical and non-tactical vehicles come through the wash rack daily. Everything coming from Iraq gets washed for maintenance purposes and agricultural inspections, said Army Staff Sgt. Jason Frye, who works at the wash rack.

A thorough cleaning, depending on the piece of equipment, can take anywhere from one to 36 hours before being sent for a U.S. military customs inspection, which checks for dirt and contaminates that can pose environmental problems, he said.

The U.S. Army Materiel Command processes all vehicles for maintenance and updates before pushing them out to other locations. Placement of the equipment varies based on the needs of the Army.

"We retrograde it back to the United States, ship it up in support of OEF, or keep it here in Kuwait as part of the Army's prepositioned stock," Donohoo said. "We get about 2,000 pieces of equipment a month and we're anticipating much more as the drawdown continues.”

"A lot of people are counting on us to make this happen - all the way up to the president,” he continued. “It's a big mission and it's the main effort [here] right now. I feel honored to be here.”

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