NORDENHAM, Germany--In the largest single Europe-bound U.S. shipment of ammunition in 10 years, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, with enterprise partner the 598th Transportation Brigade, transported over 5,000 tons of ammunition from the port of Nordenham to the Theater Logistics Support Center Europe's ammunition depot in Miesau Feb. 17-18.

The ammunition, which required 415 shipping containers to transport overseas, will be stored at the Miesau depot where it will be available to various units and activities in support of operations like Atlantic Resolve and exercise Anakonda 2016.

Maintaining stockpiles of ammunition in the European theater means that U.S. and NATO forces can quickly draw ammunition in support of short notice NATO operations and other multinational efforts aimed at maintaining a strong alliance, according to the 21st TSC chief of staff, Col. Matthew Redding.

"This critical shipment will help us to continue to enable the NATO alliance, and the fact that it's the largest single shipment in 10 years demonstrates our continued commitment to the defense of our allies," said Redding.

Getting the ammo from the port to the depot and maintaining it there takes a coordinated effort from the entire 21st TSC team and its enterprise partners, according to Redding.

"All that effort pays off when we're able to quickly deliver ammo and other supplies to those down-trace units that need them," he said.

In addition to the receipt of the ammunition, this critical operation also included a retrograde of ammunition valued at more than $177 million. During a retrograde operations, supplies or equipment no longer needed in theater are returned to the U.S., where they will be redistributed to units that need them.