The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's (SDDC) 832nd Transportation Battalion recently began participating in a Sealift Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (SEDRE) at the Jacksonville Port Authority's newly christened Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF).

Designed to train units for deployment readiness, a SEDRE includes the deployment of unit personnel and equipment, as well as an upload and offload of a brigade-sized task force, using real port facilities and ships. This is the first SEDRE that SDDC has participated in since 2000.

As surface warriors are being utilized tenaciously throughout the world, Army Capt. David Wallace, the 832nd's Operations Officer, considers SEDRE's to be one of the cogs that ensure such operations are being done expeditiously and safely.

"With an organization being able to pick-up…get ready to go to war -- or any type of contingency where equipment and personnel are needed -- readiness is key. That is why exercises like the SEDRE are so important to the warfight and the warfighter," he said.

Adding, that when the 832nd is called upon for contingencies in the real-world it is imperative that everyone understand their purpose and the roles they play.

"During the war on terror the military has gotten used to falling in on assets that were already pre-staged at a certain locations, he said. "But now that the forces are being utilized in newer areas it is more cost effective and advantageous for a unit to move itself to a location -- using their own equipment."

For the first part of the multi-week exercise the 832nd will be the single port managers for the SEDRE -- which means they will facilitate the operations for the units that are coming to JAXPORT all while working with the port authorities and local entities to ensure that there are no legal issues or port violations that happen during the exercise.

So far they have discharged - bringing all of the equipment off and marshaling them over into a staging area to be driven over to the port (call forward area) - roughly 900 pieces of equipment from four trains that have already arrived.

The 832nd is a part of SDDC's 597th Transportation Brigade out of Fort Eustis, Va.