By Donna Klapakis(SDDC)June 27, 2018
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -- Transporters from the 599th Transportation Brigade made a quick turnaround as they worked both air- and seaport missions from June 11-20.
The first mission was at Kalaeloa Airport where Antonov AN-124s, the second largest airplane in the world, were contracted by U.S. Transportation Command to upload and transport CH-47s for the 25th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade.
"We heard about the mission about a week before execution. During that time we worked with TRANSCOM personnel to facilitate air movement of the CH-47s, coordinated with the unit mobility officer and maintenance chief, also with contract maintenance support," said Jimmy Quilon, traffic management specialist.
"We worked with Kalaeloa Port Authority to set up the times and coordinate arrival and departure times," Quilon added. "Because of fuel concerns for take-off, we had to work in conjunction with Honolulu International Airport. We also worked with the crewmembers on the aircraft, who were Ukrainian, as was the airline."
"There was some language barrier initially, and we had to convert everything from kilograms to pounds," said Frank Viray, traffic management specialist, but once I found out who was the loadmaster, I was able to communicate with him on the stow plan.
"The first day was slow with a lot of hiccups, but once we got into a rhythm, everything was pretty smooth," he added.
The loadout at Kalaeloa Air Field lasted from June 11-15.
599th transporters didn't have long to wait until the M/V Ocean Jazz pulled into Pearl Harbor with its load of cargo and equipment for 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team from Operation Pacific Pathways, 18-1 on June 17.
Spc. Nashell Mendez, 599th traffic management specialist, worked both moves.
"Port operations began at 6 a.m. on June 18 and ran 12-hours-a-day through noon on June 20," she said.
Although the operation was mainly a discharge, a few pieces were also repositioned for Alaska, she added.
599th safety officer, Randey Hayes was on hand for the move to ensure everyone was in compliance with OSHA and SDDC safety standards.
"I noted quite a few safety violations during this move," said Hayes. "I will work with all parties to make sure they aren't repeated in future moves."
"Luckily, no one was injured, but it's just a matter of time until it happens if we don't take care of things early," he added.
In addition to 599th and a terminal management team from the 836th Transportation Battalion out of Yokohama North Dock, Japan, transporters from the 302nd Reserve Transportation Battalion also assisted with the move.
"Before operations began, we taught Spc. Mendoza and members of the 302nd how to use GATES [Global Air Transportation Execution System] and ICODES [Integrated Computerized Deployment System] software in a quick course on June 16," said Viray, who also worked both moves.
"This offload consisted of helicopters, vehicles, containers, and break-bulk cargo," Viray added. "The move went well, and it finished on time with no real problems, but it took quite a bit of time because we were using the ship's cranes, and the deadlined equipment had to be towed off the port."
"At the end of the day, the 599th Brigade Surface Warriors, coupled with our 302nd Transportation Battalion teammates from the U.S. Army Reserves, expertly executed multi-modal transportation operations, supporting the 25th Infantry Division warfighters," said Casey Carr, 599th deputy to the commander.