1st Theater Sustainment Command


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U.S. Army Sustainment Soldiers achieve mission success during Operation Provider Caravan

By Sgt. 1st Class Mary Katzenberger | 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade | January 21, 2022

KING FAHAD INDUSTRIAL PORT YANBU, Saudi Arabia --

U.S. Army motor transport operators from the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade departed here Dec. 20, embarking on an almost 1,200-mile trip to their home base in Kuwait.

Driving up-armored M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporters laden with M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, the Soldiers of the Fort Riley, Kansas, based 24th Composite Truck Company traveled through the heart of Saudi Arabia and the international border with Kuwait to Camp Buehring.

And that was only the second leg of the mission.

The HETs departed Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Dec. 14, 2021, and returned to Camp Buehring Dec. 26, 2021, completing Operation Provider Caravan.

The 12-day mission, executed by elements of 1st Theater Sustainment Command and Task Force Spartan on behalf of U.S. Army Central, was a multilateral logistics operation that exercised some of the logistics capabilities within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to ensure U.S. and partner forces have the resources and flexibility to deliver supplies and materiel wherever needed.

The operation enhanced relationships and partner capacity with the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

“Operation Provider Caravan is our opportunity in the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade and our supporting units to be able to exercise the Trans-Arabian network and link up with our partners across Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to make sure that we have a logistical capability if needed,” said Col. David Key, commander of the 3rd DSB.

Key said the Soldiers with the 24th CTC performed magnificently from the preparation through the execution phase of the operation.

“HET drivers do nothing better than operate HETs and make things happen,” he said. “I’m super proud of all of them and the effort that they have put forth.”

The 24th CTC brought organic maintenance personnel and recovery vehicles and relied on Soldiers assigned to the 548th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion to provide fuel and Soldiers from 3rd Medical Command to provide medical care.

Lt. Col. Joel Buffardi, commander of the 389th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, said performing a mission on the scale of Operation Provider Caravan can be challenging; however, the team achieved mission success by forging strong partnerships.

“The Soldiers faced many challenges during this operation, traveling across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the lieutenant colonel said. “The Soldiers, with the other part of their team—the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia security forces as well as the Kuwait forces—have exercised and participated superbly.”

Key echoed Buffardi’s sentiments.

“Our Saudi partners have been fantastic, truly supportive across the board,” the colonel said. “From the second that we rolled across the border from Kuwait into Saudi Arabia they linked up with us.”

“They’ve been with us every step of the way as we moved across the Trans-Arabian network,” Key continued. “They have made some improvements in the routes that we did not know were there, and they’ve been able to stop traffic and make sure that we had the fastest way possible to complete our operation.”