CONSTANTA, Romania (June 26, 2016) -- The Port of Constanta is busy as usual. Cargo is coming in, cargo is going out. After all, Constanta is the fourth largest port in Europe. However, this time, a different type of cargo is at the port; military vehicles from the United States.
On June 19, 2016 a ship that left Charleston, S.C. two-weeks prior sailed into port. It carried approximately 300 wheeled and tracked military vehicles belonging to the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (CBCT), Idaho Army National Guard and the 122nd Engineer Battalion, South Carolina Army National Guard. The units had shipped their equipment in preparation for Exercise Saber Guardian, which begins late next month.
Saber Guardian is a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise, in the spirit of partnership for peace. It is designed to promote regional stability and security, while strengthening partnership capacity, and fostering trust while improving interoperability between Romania, the U.S., NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations.
"It took us about 26 hours to offload the ship," said Staff Sgt. Travis Langway, 2nd Bn., 116th CBCT, proudly as he watched a tank being loaded onto a flatcar. "Once everything was offloaded it took us about three days to load the wheeled vehicles on to the railways, and another three days to load the track vehicles."
For the Soldiers, loading the vehicles onto the flatcars was a new experience.
"Normally we drive the vehicles onto the rail cars," said Sgt. Riley Mullin, 2nd Bn., 116th CBCT. "Here they don't have ramps, so the Romanian's use cranes. It's kind of cool to watch the cranes lift them into place."
Even though the vehicles weren't driven onto the cars, it was necessary to drive them into position on the flatcars before they were secured for the journey to Cincu, Romania where they will be offloaded and used during Exercise Saber Guardian 16, taking place at the Cincu Training Center.
"It will take about eight hours for the trains to reach Cincu," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Howell, 116th CBCT. "Once the vehicles are offloaded the trains will return here, to get another load."
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