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Sling-loader enhances supply effort

POSTED: April 26, 2013 9:32 a.m.
Photo by Spc. Sarah Bailey/

U.S. Army Spc. Rey Reyes and Spc. Eddie Ortiz, both unit-supply specialists, and Sgt. Tracie Cerda-Sims, a water-treatment specialist, attach an equipment load to a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter April 10 at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar province, Afghanistan.

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FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHANK, Afghanistan — Just weeks after the 703rd Maintainers’ transfer-of-responsibility ceremony, soldiers from the Task Force Maintain sling-load team, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, work hard to ensure the supply needs within the Vanguard Brigade are met in Wardak and Logar provinces, Afghanistan.
The Task Force Maintain sling-load team’s mission is to rapidly distribute supplies to other units through air transportation. Moving supplies by air allows for quicker distribution by expediting the delivery of goods as well as streamlining the supply channel.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ryan Murphy, the executive officer for Company A, 703rd BSB, understands the importance of utilizing air transportation and the benefits it provides to the other units in the brigade. Murphy, a Virginia Tech graduate originally from Fairfax, N.J., said, “It provides force expansion which allows the movement of supplies by both ground and air, and can greatly speed up the delivery process.”
The soldiers on the sling-load team have been training together since before this deployment to Afghanistan and are excited to execute the skills they have learned.
“We have been working together for months, and it’s finally game time,” said U.S. Army Spc. Eddie Ortiz, a Cayey, Puerto Rico, native and a unit-supply specialist with Company A.
“It’s what we do. We support the entire brigade and are constantly working to help with their success,” said Ortiz, a member of the sling-load team.

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