Wonderful things were achieved when several organizations come together at the Deepwater Container Terminal at the port of Gdansk to assist the 2nd Squadron, 278th Armored Calvary Regiment, a National Guard unit based in Knoxville, Tennessee, in offloading over 400 pieces of equipment, in 12 hours, from the Liberty Pride deep water container ship.
In any military operation, large or small, there's always planning and coordination that must be done beforehand to insure a smooth operation.
"My company came to the port ahead of time to set up the contracts and to make sure everything is in place," said Capt. Travis Propes, company commander for the 950th Transportation Company, 598th Transportation Brigade based in Bremerhaven, Germany. "We coordinate with the vessel for arrival, we receive it, tally it, stage it for onward movement throughout the port and then the MCT, Movement Control Team, picks it up from there."
Living up to the Army Value, selfless service, teams in different locations send their plans, diagrams and sketches, ahead of time, to personnel working at the final port for knowledge of load plans, location of equipment for downloading and staging operations for the next step in the movement operations for the incoming unit.
The 2/278th ACR has deployed to Poland in support of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence, Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing rotating training mission for reserve, National Guard and active duty units with NATO partners.
NATO's doctrine is to demonstrate unity of purpose and credible military capability to preserve peace and defeat any adversary.
"It's nice working with the military," said Sonja Winter, a transportation specialist from Bremerhaven, Germany, with the 950th Transportation Company. "There are a lot of nice people there, a lot of team work and there's a lot of different things to do, people to meet and different places to go. I've worked for a commercial company before, for 25 years; working with the military is different but not in a bad way, I enjoy it."
Civilian and military personnel from the U.S., Germany and other parts of Poland have made the journey, to the port Gdansk, to assist the 2/278th ACR in offloading their equipment safely and effectively in preparation for the training mission with NATO partners.
"We were sent here to help the 598th Transportation Brigade in discharging of the vessel, tallying equipment, gates manifesting and the loading of equipment for the 278th," said Sgt. Tyrell Carver, a transportation management coordinator with the 369th Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element based in Houston, Texas.
Assisting each other in each step of the process, the teams work together to accomplish the joint mission.
"It's pretty interesting having people here to help us, especially when they're from another country," said Spc. Andrew Sage, an Armor Crewman with the 2/278th ACR. "The coordination has been pretty smooth, even if there's a language barrier, everyone knows what they need to do. There's enough grease in the right places to where it's smooth enough to go the way it's supposed to."