No Little Things Left Undone
(May 28, 2011)
May 24, 2011 -- Sgt. 1st Class Narada Johnson and Spc. Blake Chambers, of the 11th Quartermaster Detachment, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, look on at the 14 foot mural recently completed in the Rigger Shed at Bagram Air Field. Chambers completed the mural in his spare time, adding distinctions of the unique job of a U.S. Army Rigger.
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (May 24, 2011) – Back at Fort
Campbell, Ky., or Fort Bragg, N.C., parachute riggers are
distinctive, from the signature red baseball hats to the collection
of badges adjoining their uniforms.
Once they deploy here,
the badges are tucked away in a shadow box and the caps only worn
around the old airplane hangar called the Rigger Shed. But that
doesn't keep them from keeping their own style.
of the 11th Quartermaster Detachment, 101st Special Troops
Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade are adding their touch to the
Rigger Shed on Bagram, including a 14 foot mural depicting their
When a new group of riggers from the 11th QM
arrived here this past April, they decided to fix up their little
piece of Bagram.
“We got here and decided to do some shop
upkeep,” 1st Lt. Chelsea Craig, the commander of the 11th QM Det.
“It puts our signature on the job and lets future units know that
the 11th Quartermaster was here.”
Spc. Blake Chambers, a
rigger with the 11th QM Det., got to work soon after coming back
from his rest and recuperation leave with the paramount piece of the
renovation, a 14 foot mural. The mural shows a nighttime combat jump
into a rock quarry and forest in the background. A U.S. Army Senior
Combat Parachutist badge stands front and center.
mural, when someone comes in the rigger shed, they know who we are
and what this is,” Chambers said.
“And it helps that a rigger did this.”
Chambers and the riggers stayed in the shed after all the bundles were
rigged to complete the projects. Aside from the massive mural, other
signs and recreational activities have been added.|
“When I first
got back from R&R, I was working nights and painting,” Chambers said. “I
felt bad for the guys working while I was gone, so I started working
days and staying through the night shift too.”
30 hours to complete the mural, Chambers had to round up spare supplies
from the back of the closet to paint with.
“That's what made it
hard. It was old latex paint, old paint brushes – not artist brushes –
and it was on uneven plywood,” Chambers said. “Since it is 14 foot by 14
foot, I had to use a forklift to reach most of it.”
is inescapable and overlooks the team of riggers bundling food, fuel and
other supplies on the floor below.
“I knew everyone would be
looking at it, it wasn't just for me,” Chambers said. “I wanted people
to have a good impression on us and the quality of work we do. Even
though it's not rigging, it still represents us and this shop.”
The riggers of the 11th QM Det. have added their touch to other parts of
the shop as well. They wanted to brand the shed to represent their
lineage as one of the oldest rigger companies in the Army, Craig said.
The 11th QM traces its origins to the Airborne Quartermaster Companies
created during World War II.
“We started new things, like putting
our signature in the bundles and let them know we bundled it,” Craig
said. “These guys are motivated because they know they're helping the
guys on the ground. Sometimes they'll even throw in extra candy or
drinks or Bibles to let them know we care.”
Even as the little
extras are thrown in with other supplies, the riggers remain largely
faceless to the countless soldiers in the remote forward operating bases
that receive the bundles.
“There are always people behind the
scenes,” Craig said. “But these guys don't need the recognition. They
get their satisfaction knowing they're helping the guys on the ground
who are having a rougher time than them.”
Article and photo by Army Spc. Michael Vanpool
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
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