Transportation warriors participate in Operation TransLOTS 2011
July 22, 2011
- Nearly 300 Reserve Soldiers from units all over the country participated in Operation TransLOTS 2011.
- Soldiers spend two to three weeks learning terminal port operations, centric systems, cargo documentation, and vessel upload and discharge procedures.
ROOSEVELT ROADS NAVAL STATION, Puerto Rico -- Roosevelt Roads NS rests in the shadow of tropical mountains, butted against a blue-green ocean. Coconuts fall from towering palm trees, and enormous iguanas skitter across the deserted roads. Schools of fish swarm just offshore, easily visible in the crystalline water.
Yet while the view is stunning, the Soldiers who gathered here June 9-27 were not on vacation. There was a mission to accomplish; equipment and vehicles needed to be moved from the island over hundreds of miles to the port of Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Nearly 300 Reserve Soldiers from units all over the country, including the territory of Puerto Rico, gathered there and at Cape Canaveral to participate in Operation TransLOTS 2011, an annual training mission preparing them for the duties they will perform when mobilized and deployed.
“If you have to work all day in the sun, it might as well be with a view like this,” Col. Robert W. Pinckard, commander of the 1190th Transportation Brigade, said of Roosevelt Roads NS.
Operation TransLOTS takes place almost every summer. Soldiers spend two to three weeks learning terminal port operations, centric systems, cargo documentation, and vessel upload and discharge procedures, all of which are vital skills and duties of surface transportation warriors.
The mission is an important part of pre-deployment training for the participating units, said Pinckard. The 1190th TB has provided command and control for Operations TransLOTS since 2009, preparing Reserve units from all over the country for deployment.
But TransLOTS isn’t the standard annual training for Reservists, he said. It is a live mission to load vehicles and containers onto vessels that sail to the port of Cape Canaveral for discharge. The equipment then makes it way to Army depots for use elsewhere.
“It’s a very good training opportunity for young Soldiers to get hands-on experience utilizing their MOS [training],” said 1st Lt. Lisa L. Lirocchi, the 1190th TB’s officer in charge of the Cape Canaveral portion of the mission.
Because it was a real-world mission, Lirocchi said Soldiers were able to familiarize themselves with all aspects of their job, to include using centric systems such as GATES, and working with their civilian counterparts with the 832nd Transportation Battalion based in Cape Canaveral.
“In the transportation realm today, the majority of the Army, but especially in transportation, is working with civilians,” she said. “I think a lot of the younger Soldiers got to see that side, which they had never experienced before.”
More than half the Soldiers working in Cape Canaveral had never had real-world experience practicing their jobs, said Lirocchi. She said some had just graduated Advanced Individual Training and had not had a chance to put their skills to use. But even the veteran transportation warriors benefited by honing their skills and training the less experienced Soldiers.
“Everybody worked well together,” she said. “The motivation was high to accomplish the mission.”
Whether it was facing the dark indigo waters of the Atlantic or the bright green of the Caribbean, surface transportation warriors worked tirelessly to ensure that the mission was accomplished and that no Soldier went home without first mastering the skills that will aid them in supporting the Warfighter.