SDDC's 836th demonstrates simultaneous deployment and distribution capabilities
December 7, 2007
While one of the unofficial mottoes of the U.S. Pacific Command is "From Alaska to Madagascar," expectations from the field are nearly nonexistent for a single transportation battalion to manage multiple deployment and distribution missions simultaneously for military cargo throughout an entire region.
However, this past summer, the 836th Transportation Battalion, stationed in Yokohama Japan under the 599th Transportation Group, demonstrated the global strategic and operational deployment power the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command is noted for in support of the Warfighter.
The 836th's accomplishment becomes even more significant when factoring in the incredible geographic distances involved in the operations, the joint aspect, and the various transportation methods used to accomplish the missions.
The 836th deployed two deployment and distribution teams (DDST) to accomplish two important missions.
The first team deployed in May to Anchorage, Alaska to simultaneously support deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and the joint Exercise Talisman Saber 2007 (TS07). The second team deployed in July to Australia to facilitate arrival of TS07 unit equipment and munitions.
The first DDST, lead by Bob Meno, detachment chief of the Alaska Detachment, compromised of Charlie Company, 864th Engineers; 164th Military Police; HHC, 17th Combat Service Support Battalion; and Bravo Company, 1st Battalion and the 52nd Aviation Regiment and supported the U.S. Central Command.
The team supported the U.S. Pacific Command with the deployment of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii, to participate in the TS07 exercise.
TS07 is a joint and combined exercise providing participants to practice short-warning power projection, field training exercise live-fire and maneuver, and coalition task force command post "high-end" campaign planning.
The team also enabled the distribution of joint munitions from ammunition supply points in Alaska for use during TS07. The Alaska Combined Task Force (CTF) deployment mission shipped cargo from the Port of Anchorage to the Port of Kuwait on the MV Cape Orlando, The cargo sailed 6,140 miles and arrived two days before the required delivery date in support of the OIF surge.
The 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team TS07 cargo sailed from the Port of Anchorage to the Port of Tacoma, Washington via Tote commercial liner service to link up with reserve marine cargo that was being sent from the West Coast. The cargo was trans-loaded onto the MV Cape Henry. The MV Cape Henry sailed to Gwangyang, South Korea. Upon arrival the cargo was trans-loaded by the 837th Transportation Battalion for further onward movement to the Port of Gladstone, Australia. In total, the cargo sailed 6,562 miles and arrived one day before its required delivery date.
The second DDST deployed to Australia to facilitate the arrival of 713 pieces of joint TS07 unit cargo. The team also received joint munitions from Alaska and Japan, and facilitated onward movement to the training site.
The 10-person team included personnel from the 836th and the 599th Transportation Group. Capt. Daniel Gunter, operations officer for the 836th, led the team.
The team received cargo from two commercial liner vessels and one Military Sealift Command commercial charter vessel discharging 14 pieces of cargo at the Port of Darwin, 19 pieces of cargo at the Port of Brisbane, eight pieces of cargo at the Port of Alma, and 672 pieces of cargo at the Port of Gladstone.
The team demonstrated its flexibility to manage the various types of vessels at the four Australian ports.
Phase two consisted of the second DDST, led by Lt. Col. Colice Powell, commander of the 836th and conducted diverse operations July 30 out of three of Australia's ports earmarked for Honolulu, Hawaii.
Throughout both phases, the DDST commander served as the single port manager for the operation, responsible for performing port operator and cargo documentation functions. The DDST provided the CTF commander critical logistic updates through the combined movement control center to allow asset visibility in support of the exercise.
The 836th team met the challenges and complexities created by operating out of four different ports within Australia. The key to success is integrated logistic planning, coordination, and combined execution.
The support and cooperation between the CTF Commander and Australian military, government agencies, and commercial industries was evident with the success TS07 achieved.
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