• Staff Sgt. Douglas Kirk and Maj. Gina SanNicolas, commander, 950th Trans. Co., discuss port operations while the first containers are being unloaded from the MV American Tern in the port of Riga, Latvia.

    950th Transporation Co. at Riga, Latvia

    Staff Sgt. Douglas Kirk and Maj. Gina SanNicolas, commander, 950th Trans. Co., discuss port operations while the first containers are being unloaded from the MV American Tern in the port of Riga, Latvia.

  • Staff Sgt. Douglas Kirk, operations noncommissioned officer in charge, 950th Trans. Co. and 1st Lt. Karla Bayles, executive officer, 950th Trans. Co. (SDDC) watch as the first Strykers are unloaded at the Vecmilgravis Terminal in Riga, Latvia.

    Stryker lift

    Staff Sgt. Douglas Kirk, operations noncommissioned officer in charge, 950th Trans. Co. and 1st Lt. Karla Bayles, executive officer, 950th Trans. Co. (SDDC) watch as the first Strykers are unloaded at the Vecmilgravis Terminal in Riga, Latvia.

  • A Stryker belonging to 56th SBCT is lifted from the MV American Tern at Riga, Latvia in preparation for the training exercise Saber Strike 11.

    Stryker lift from MV American Tern

    A Stryker belonging to 56th SBCT is lifted from the MV American Tern at Riga, Latvia in preparation for the training exercise Saber Strike 11.

Deployment and Distribution Support Teams from SDDC\'s 950th Transportation Company in Bremerhaven, Germany, played a vital role in orchestrating the receipt and discharge of Stryker vehicles at the Vecmilgravis Terminal in Riga, Latvia.

The Strykers belong to the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and will participate in the upcoming exercise Saber Strike 11. The exercise partners the Pennsylvania National Guard with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for training and the chance to strengthen relationships with the Baltic States.

"The participation of 950th personnel during the planning conferences leading up to the exercise paid huge dividends," said Maj. Gina SanNicolas, commander of the 950th Transportation Company. "Because of the communication between Latvian logistics officers, U.S. Army Europe and U.S. European Command planners - to include 16th Sustainment BDE - this set the tone for successful reception and integration of cargo."

The objectives of the exercise include preparing International Security Assistance Force nations for increased contributions to ongoing operations in Afghanistan; and improving NATO and coalition interoperability at the tactical level which also include Joint Forces participation where possible, according to SanNicolas.

"In addition to building partnerships, the equipment brought over for the 56th SBCT is also part of an initiative to leverage State Partnership Program events and Army National Guard (ARNG) State Partner resources," SanNicolas sadi. "SDDC plays an integral role in this by ensuring that cargo is delivered to achieve these objectives. This is what we bring as enablers."

Two key players, Bruce D. Rogers, deputy chief of mission in Latvia, and Col. I. Rajevs, chief of staff, Joint Latvian Forces, addressed the Latvian media during the operation. Rogers underlined the importance of the cooperation between the U.S. and Latvian forces and recognized the importance of Latvia being a partner in NATO. He also recognized the important role of Latvian forces in Afghanistan.

"Missions like this allow us to continue to refine our role in theater-opening capabilities as part of a larger force. This is the first time the 950th Trans. Co. has conducted operations in this port in Latvia. This port operation further strengthened our training as global deployers," SanNicolas, commander 950th Trans. Co."

Page last updated Thu October 14th, 2010 at 15:33