Story by SGT Zane Craig on 02/28/2017FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. The 213th Regional Support Group, Pennsylvania Army National Guard welcomed the 228th Transportation (Motor Transport) Battalion with a unit activation ceremony here Feb. 11.
The activation ceremony is an old Army tradition that commemorates the beginning or continuation of a new unit's history and lineage that features the unfurling of the guidon.
The 228th Transportation (Motor Transport) Battalion mission is to supervise units conducting motor transport operations in order to meet the operational requirements of the United States Army and, on order, to conduct defense support to civilian authorities (DSCA) operations as directed by the Governor.
The battalion is authorized more than 900 Soldiers, mostly motor transport operators, with some wheeled vehicle mechanics, petroleum supply specialists and a handful of other positions, such as administrative specialists and cooks. The 228th is making rapid progress to fill open slots, but is still only at 60% strength.
The 228th currently has more than 150 skill level 10 motor transport operator vacancies, mostly in Ft. Indiantown Gap and Johnstown, but also some in Williamstown, Lehighton and Phoenixville. It has more than 50 E6 motor transport operator slots vacant, including about a dozen squad leader positions. It also has several wheeled vehicle mechanic and petroleum supply specialist skill level 10 slots vacant at each location.
The three new Transportation companies created as part of a planned reorganization effort in 2016 now fall under the 228th Transportation Battalion. These units are the 121st Transportation Company based in Johnstown, the 131st Transportation Company based in Williamstown, and the 721st Transportation Company based at Fort Indiantown Gap. The existing 1067th Composite Transportation Company based in Phoenixville also falls under the 228th.
These four subordinate companies provide transportation assets for the movement and distribution of dry and refrigerated containerized cargo, general non-containerized cargo, ammunition, bottled water, bulk petroleum products, bulk water (when equipped with tank racks/hippos), heavy equipment, tanks and oversized loads. They perform unit moves, transports personnel, and provide escort services for contracted trucks.
"We look forward to not only providing an expanded transport capability to the units of the Pennsylvania National Guard and those we will eventually support around the world, but also to the opportunity to provide an expanded resource to the Commonwealth during Domestic Operations," said Lt. Col. Daniel Carroll, commander of the 228th Transportation (Motor Transport) Battalion and a resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
"The transportation expertise in this battalion will be able to provide more responsive hauling and distribution capability to communities throughout the state during emergencies and times of need," he added.
Carroll said the men and women of the 228th have an important and challenging task ahead of them, and he is proud to lead them and is supremely confident they will succeed at the high level the 213th Regional Support Group has established as the standard in the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Organized in 1849, the 213th RSG has a long history of providing support for both state and active duty operations. The 213th RSG consists of more than 20 specialized units located throughout the commonwealth. The units that represent the 213th RSG include finance, maintenance, personnel, sustainment, transportation, contracting and public affairs, in addition to medical.