FORD ISLAND, Hawaii (July 9, 2014) -- When a natural disaster strikes in the Pacific, the safe movement of equipment, supplies, and people is imperative, and a smooth line of communication between a port and approaching ships and vessels makes that possible.

Enter the Harbormaster Command and Control Center; an expeditionary command that can be set up in less than six hours with the capability to track and provide communication between any watercraft within 10 nautical miles of shore, similar to the way air traffic controllers safely guide aircraft.

The 545th Transportation Harbormaster Detachment and 73rd Signal Company set up the HCCC here, July 8, to provide command and control of watercraft assets in surface/vertical lift, casualty evacuation, and Logistics over the Shore operations during the biennial Rim of the Pacific 2014 exercise.

"We are monitoring the traffic and flow of maritime vessels that are worth millions of dollars," said, Sgt. 1st Class Heath McManama, a harbormaster detachment non-commissioned officer with the 545th. "We set the priority and the timelines in a designated port. We manage everyone and everything. We are in charge of the safety of the vessels, crews, and cargo. We are the overall peacekeeper of the port."