A Soldier looks on as a rough terrain container handler picks up an empty container and loads it on a flatbed truck at the Receiving and Shipping Point yard at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The CRSP will be relocated to an expanded location, tripling its cargo capacity. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Camacho)

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - The Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Central Receiving and Shipping Point is slated to begin operations at its new, larger site of roughly 20 acres, Feb. 15, after roughly five months of preparation.

The CRSP expanded to accommodate the movement and removal of equipment throughout Iraq, as the upcoming drawdown of U.S. troops and equipment approaches, said Capt. Jason Vivian, officer in charge of transportation with the 80th Ordnance Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The expanded site will contain almost triple the amount of cargo than the old site, said Vivian, a South Fork, Pa., native.

"Their current area can only hold so much," he said.

JBB will be a major operational hub during the drawdown, and is already a major cargo processing site, he said.

The new location is close to the container repair yard, the onward movement yard and the redistribution property assistance team. The proximity increases overall operational efficiency through more fluid movement, said Vivian.

This creates a centralized area for processing cargo and retrograding materials, and saves at least an hour of travel time, he said.

Overall, the new CRSP can accommodate a higher cargo capacity, said 2nd Lt. Gabriel West, officer in charge of the JBB CRSP with the 159th Seaport Operations Company, 80th Ord. Bn., 15th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC.

"We'll have more space and be able to handle responsible withdrawal operations more effectively," said West, an Allentown, Pa., native.

He said the unit expects to process considerably more cargo in the coming months after the National Elections.

Despite its size limitations, the old CRSP site averaged 6,000 pieces of cargo per month, said West. In September, it processed a record 8,000 pieces of cargo, he said.

The CRSP processes all classes of supplies, with the exception of ammunition, said West.

"Our mission is to receive, stage, upload, download and transship unit equipment, retrograde equipment, containers and intra-theater cargo," he said. "In addition, we oversee the (Empty Container Collection Point)."

The CRSP will process the containers the ECCP receives from the CRY. West said the CRY processes roughly 3,000 containers a month, after which they are redistributed.

The additional space grants more freedom of movement to all vehicles and personnel in the CRSP, said West.

"There have been times when we've had to rearrange cargo in the yard because we ran out of room in certain areas," he said. "This will not be an issue in the new yard."

The trailer transfer point will also be relocated and expanded in the CRSP, said West. The TTP is a staging area for convoys to drop off filled trailers, pick up empty ones and continue on their route, he said.

West said the additional staging lanes will also allow more cargo to be uploaded or downloaded from each convoy.

"Our yard operations will be more efficient, because we'll have more space to stage convoys," he said. "We'll have the capabilities to process multiple convoys at a time without slowing down our operation."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16