KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Trucks and trains hauled more than 700 containers of ammunition to Europe, after the containers arrived in Nordenham, Germany, on two ships this week.
The mission was part of an overall joint exercise to push large quantities of ammunition out of the United States to various major overseas commands at the same time.
"There was an ammunition push that came to us, an ammunition push that went to (Central Command), and an ammunition push that went to (Pacific Command)," said Lt. Col. Brad Culligan, commander, 838th Transportation Battalion. "We were all part of the same exercise, to stress the system back in the States."
Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Army Materiel Command, and Military Sealift Command, worked together to ensure the mission came off smoothly. The large amounts of ammunition which came on the two ships was larger than the last two shipments which came into theater, making this the largest shipment in 30 years.
The two U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command Ships brought in a combination of Army and Air Force ammunition, which was discharged by 838th Trans. Bn., with some containers moving to a smaller vessel which shipped them to the United Kingdom, creating simultaneous operations at the two ports. The remaining containers, still totaling more than 700 pieces, were loaded onto 12 German trains and eight U.S. Army trucks from 66th Transportation to be shipped to Miesau Army Depot.
"It's an example of where we're working together with 21st (Theater Sustainment Command) and 66th Trans to help with the onward movement piece and the velocity off the port; so we can clear the port faster to get the port clear and the ship clear so we can bring in another ship," Culligan said.
After initial stockpiling in Miesau, the ammo will be distributed to other stockpiles in Europe.
"It's a large quantity of ammo and it certainly enhances our capability and flexibility to deliver munitions support to the theater," Culligan said.
"The key point is how fast you can get equipment, munitions and personnel over here and how fast can you get them off the ship, off the pier and downrange to where they are needed," he added. "Every chance we get to do one of these larger ammunition shipments -- which is probably what we would see in a contingency -- allows us to learn every time on what we can do to make things more efficient and more productive to support the forces that are deployed here and forces that are stationed here."