BREMERHAVEN, Germany - Before sunrise at the port, the work of Soldiers and civilians has already begun. From the massive vessel "Arc Courage," the front gate and ramp slowly lowers down, and the first pieces of cargo pour out. As various combat vehicles get their first touch of European soil, it is clear the cavalry has arrived.
The 21st Theater Sustainment Command partnered with their Theater Logistic Support Center-Europe and Surface Deployment Distribution Command's 838th Transportation Battalion, 589th Transportation Brigade to bring 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's equipment to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and Combined Resolve III.
The first piece of movement for the Ironhorse Brigade equipment was the journey across the Atlantic Ocean, facilitated by the SDDC. More than 370 pieces of equipment including Humvees, M1A2 Abrams Tanks, M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, generators, construction equipment, water buffalos and armored personnel carriers arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany Sept. 23. Local national port workers downloaded each piece of equipment and staged them in preparation for the next step of the trip.
"The SDDC coordinated this vessel to move the 1/1 Cav. equipment from Texas into Europe. We are discharging each piece of gear from the vessel, making sure it is staged and ready for onward movement by rail," said Maj. Andrew R. Svilokos, the operations officer for the 838th Trans. Bn. and a native of North Port, New York. "As rail operations begin, we will hand the reigns over to the 21st Theater Sustainment Command."
Before the 21st TSC took control of the equipment set, a team from the Ironhorse Brigade inspected each item to ensure no damage was done during the overseas movement. If faults were found, the maintenance team annotated it, repaired what they could and secured the item for the next stage of transportation.
"This operation has gone extremely well. The equipment made it here with little to no issues," said Maj. Nicholas Franklin, the operations officer for 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT, 1st Cav Div., and a native of New York. "We have received outstanding support from the 21st TSC and all the units here on the ground in Europe."
The 21st TSC is responsible for the equipment as it moves by rail and ferry to its final destinations in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. Through coordination by the 21st TSC's Branch Movement Control Team-Bremerhaven, 39th Transportation Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade and TLSC-E, each piece of equipment was professionally loaded and fastened to rail cars for transportation. In addition to tracking each piece of equipment as it travels, the 21st TSC's 18th Military Police Brigade is providing teams of military police Soldiers as escorts and security.
"This is a huge mission for the 21st TSC as the theater sustainment command for Europe," said Maj. Edward H. Cho, the 21st TSC support operations transportation integration branch deputy and a native of Anaheim, California. "Because of outstanding partnership between us and the SDDC and 1/1 Cavalry, each of these pieces is going to get to its destination ready for Soldiers on the ground."
As the Ironhorse Brigade equipment makes its way into the Baltic region of Europe and Poland, the 21st TSC and its partners will continue to support it and the Operation Atlantic Resolve mission through logistical support.