By Sgt. 1st Class Vincent AbrilDecember 13, 2017
USAG DAEGU, Korea - U.S. Army personnel assigned to the 517th Movement Control Team, 25th Transportation Battalion, Materiel Support Command Korea, partnered with Soldiers of the 551st Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, MSC-K, to conduct port operations Nov. 27-28, at Busan, Korea.
Together, both teams worked in sync to process and facilitate the onward movement of equipment from a U.S. Army installation located at Pier 8 in the port city, to units across the peninsula. Soldiers with both companies often work at the pier, but it isn't often they get the chance to work together.
"We work with the 551st ICTC on major theater level exercises, but we have not had the opportunity to work and train together as often as we would like at the port of Busan," said 1st Lt. Nickolas B. Cline, executive officer of the 517th MCT, and native of Duxbury, Massachusetts. "Working together with the ICTC is important in that any major equipment or supplies that come through this port, go through our hands and get distributed to Warfighters across the peninsula."
Both company's mission sets complement one another in the grand scheme of things.
"The MCT plans and controls our movements by coordinating ship download dates and civilian and military transport elements to get equipment moving onward to a final destination," said Sgt. Brian M. Katta, a cargo specialist with the 551st ICTC, and native of Dunkirk, New York. "The MCT is essentially the "how" element in conducting Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration of equipment entering the country."
Katta explained that his company is able to download equipment and supplies from ships and even aircraft, and load that equipment or supplies onto other forms of transportation to ensure the items reach a final destination.
"We are basically the doers of the cargo operation, the hands-on folks if you will," said Katta. "We also operate all the equipment we download, and the machinery it takes to download that equipment, and we can also transport equipment when needed."
Working side-by-side, both teams accounted for, processed, and moved Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and other equipment. The MCT mission is to account for the equipment and track it while the ICTC handles the goods brought in.
"This is our second mission where we were able to bring the ICTC out here and allow them to do their functional job that is typically done by Stevedores," said Capt. Jason E. White, commander of the 517 MCT, and native of Michigan. "We were able to team up with the ICTC to load all the cargo the Stevedores downloaded from the ship, and get it over to its final destination."
The Stevedores helped and guided the MCT and ICTC team as they worked and trained together. The port mission was safely completed and both units demonstrated their capabilities that are relied upon by all Department of Defense and U.S. personnel on the Korean Peninsula.
"You know the saying, nothing happens until something moves," said White. "We get to live that whether it's at Pier 8, Gwangyang or Jinhae, and we continue to "do it big" to see the mission through, from the sea to the DMZ."