INDIANAPOLIS (July 10, 2017) — Over 100 soldiers supported the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s transition from the Camp Atterbury railhead facility to Fort Polk, Louisiana over the course of three days.
The load out is in preparation for the 76th IBCT’s upcoming Joint Readiness Training Center rotation, in which units conduct joint operations with an emphasis on contingency force missions.
"We have soldiers here from the Indiana, Pennsylvania and Illinois National Guard loading more than 800 vehicles on rail cars," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hunt, Indiana National Guard State Mobilization Officer.
This rail movement demonstrates a critical capability for Camp Atterbury and offers a unique hands-on training opportunity for the soldiers.
“Now that we’ve had this training, Indiana could deploy a brigade combat team in less than a week,” said Hunt.
Railhead is one of the most economical ways to transport large equipment and allows quick reaction in the event of natural disasters or other emergencies that require immediate response.
"All of the equipment will arrive at the same time so the commander has access to his forces and equipment immediately so they can hit the ground running," said Hunt.
The railhead is not only a cost-effective resource for the Indiana National Guard, but for other units and organizations as well.
"Camp Atterbury has several levels of transportation assets here," said Hunt. "In addition to the railhead, we have line haul ramps and staging areas. These resources are available to all entities training or mobilizing here at Atterbury."
Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, The Adjutant General of Indiana, visited the railhead to observe the load out and meet with soldiers supporting Task Force Hoosier, the detail assigned to execute the operation.
"I’m proud of the hard work by so many that has gone into supporting this operation," said Carr. "It is another example of the National Guard’s ability to meet any mission, any time, anywhere in the world."
While at Fort Polk, the 76th soldiers will be tested in unified land operations and multi-echelon training in decisive actions to develop adaptive leaders, confident units, and robust capabilities across the range of military operations achieving Army readiness.
The training is scheduled for approximately two weeks and stay up-to-date on their training at Facebook.com/NighthawkBrigade.