From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. Nathan Cornine

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
On Jan. 21, 2012, Staff Sgt. Nathan Cornine, 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator and dispatcher, returned from his deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

During his six months in Southwest Asia, Cornine performed many responsibilities to include line haul convoy duty and being a radio technician operator.

"I maintained more than 200 single channel ground and airborne radio systems, more than 20 military tracking system computers and more than 20 counter remote explosive weapon devices," Cornine said.

He directly contributed to keeping communications and safety throughout a four to seven truck convoy.

"This kept the mission of delivering hundreds of thousands of short tons of cargo through the country of Iraq and Kuwait in support of the largest withdrawal operation of United States assets since World War II," said Cornine.

Every Forward Operating Base depended on his unit to arrive to their location and upload all cargo designated for redistribution or retrograde of U.S. property, according to Cornine. In doing so, his team would travel some of the most dangerous and treacherous roads in the world.

"The threats of terrorists attempting to 'run the U.S. military out of Iraq' and the beginning closures of these FOBs, combined to significantly decreased the services that supported and provide our convoy with the minimal amenities."

His day-to-day duties were to carry bags to the up-armored tractor-trailers that protected him from harm. Additionally, he inspected the trucks before leaving base.
"We drove anywhere between eight-to-12 hours on a short day or more than 16 hours on any other given day," Cornine said.

Cornine's deployed duties varied from those at his home station.
"Any operator will tell you that there is a different mindset switching from deploying and convoy duty," he said.

Since he started convoys in June 2004, Cornine said his job varied, "going from driving five-ton tactical-trucks with crew-served weapons such as a .50 caliber and a M249 machine guns, to driving up-armored tractor attached to 40-foot flatbed trailers loaded down with more than 80K pounds and now closing the chapter on an eight-year routine."

Master Sgt. John Leach, 509th LRS NCO in charge of vehicle operations, said Cornine is dedicated to the mission.

"After four tours of convoys and a new family, he is still one of the first to volunteer to go," Leach said.