SDDC Expeditionary Communications course takes off at Rock Island Arsenal
June 27, 2011
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Global Surface Distribution Management Team this month successfully completed the first two Expeditionary Communications courses at Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Ill.
The course was previously held at Fort Monmouth, N.J., which is scheduled to close as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.
According to Steve Bohannon, SDDC’s GSDM Team Lead, the Expeditionary Communications course is designed to familiarize SDDC personnel with the command’s two deployable port opening operation center capabilities: the Deployable Port Operations Center and the Mobile Port Operations Center, as well as associated communications, power and environmental capabilities, including the Scalable VSAT satellite communications system, also known as “Hawkeye.”
The Deployable Port Operations Center, or DPOC, is a fully deployable operations center housed in an expandable shelter and equipped with the necessary communication systems to support extended strategic port manager missions in a major regional conflict or exercise.
The Mobile Port Operations Center, or MPOC, is a vehicle-mounted operation center designed to support initial SDDC communication systems requirements at more austere, Outside-the-Continental-United States, secondary port missions during small-scale, short-duration contingencies, exercises or troop deployments.
“DPOCs and MPOCs are not systems; they are deployable, mobile, self-contained port-opening communications shelter configurations that are tailored to support SDDC’s single port manager mission at major or secondary seaports inside and outside the continental United States,” said Bohannon.
According to Bohannon, about 15 students from various locations across the globe attended the two Expeditionary Communications courses; some traveled from as far away as Kuwait (595th Transportation Brigade) and Hawaii (599th Trans. Bde.). He said a majority of the students came from the 597th Trans. Bde. at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
According to Bohannon, he and his team received a lot of positive feedback from the students following each week-long expeditionary communications class.
Some of that feedback was delivered by Alan Scott, one of the students who attended the training at Rock Island Arsenal.
“I was very pleased with how the training was conducted,” explained Scott, who is assigned to the 832nd Transportation Battalion at Jacksonville, Fla. “I came to the class with the basic understanding of how to setup a Hawkeye. After completing the training, I have the skills needed from setup to performing a peak and poll with the [Network Operations Center], as well as being familiar with the MPOC and DPOC.”
Scott also said the instructor’s presentation, knowledge of the equipment and experience was key to the success of the training.
“All of the questions we asked were answered and everyone was able to participate in the hands-on training,” explained Scott. He added that the training will “truly benefit” his unit the next time he has to setup their system.
If the past year is any indication, the next time SDDC uses the DPOC or MPOC may be sooner rather than later. Bohannon said a DPOC was used as recent as this year during the COBRA GOLD exercise in Thailand, and an MPOC was used during humanitarian operations in Haiti in 2010.
According to Bohannon, SDDC began developing and fielding DPOC and MPOC capabilities in 1997; however, the subject was highlighted during a September 2005 Defense Science Board Task Force on Mobility, which addressed the need for SDDC to develop a capability to open seaports quickly in contingency areas and to manage throughput of sustainment and material (containers) into inland hubs.
He said that over the past three years, SDDC has refurbished all its DPOCs and MPOCs and up-graded the associated communications, power and environmental capabilities.
“The security strategies of our nation and the Defense Department mandate an agile worldwide force projection on short notice to support our nation's strategic interests,” explained Bohannon. “As the DOD surface traffic manager and single port manager, SDDC's vision is to provide tailored and agile capability and sustainment solutions that meet the warfighter's requirements.”
To do this, Bohannon said SDDC must provide global surface deployment and distribution services anywhere, anytime.
He said the command must locate its command and control capabilities when and where they are required, for as long as they are required. “Thus, SDDC can support the end-to-end, in-transit, and total asset visibility requirements of our customers and partners across the [joint deployment and distribution environment].”
Bohannon said DPOCs and MPOCs house the communication capabilities SDDC needs to satisfy seaport and other surface deployment and distribution requirements. He said both operation center configurations support the immediate reception, staging, onward movement, integration, sustainment and redeployment of U.S. forces.