By Lt. Col. Cynthia KingOctober 28, 2019
Hundreds of pieces of equipment and vehicles were reunited with the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team at Shuaiba Port, Kuwait, Oct. 21-25, 2019, following a more than 15,000 nautical-mile journey across the ocean.
The process began at the conclusion of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team's rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, in August 2019, when the unit's equipment was taken to the Port of San Diego, California. There, vehicles which included their M1 Abrams Main Battle tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M109 Paladins, fuel and cargo trucks, and many others, were loaded onto three large cargo ships for transport to the Middle East.
"We were very pleased with the progress and outcomes of this logistical feat and having all of our equipment arrive safely," said U.S. Army Maj. Steve McLean, the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team's logistics officer. "We were well ahead of schedule because of the efforts of all involved."
According to McLean, they were appreciative of all of the units and contractors who assisted the brigade, including the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) and 1188th Deployment and Distribution Support Battalion.
During the 24-hour operations at the port, once the vehicles were taken off of the ships, they were staged at a nearby yard for inspections and transport to the unit's location in Kuwait. Rotations of Soldiers from the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team were on hand to assist.
"We are taking care of everyone's vehicles, regardless of the unit," said U.S. Army Sgt. Walter Jeter, the assistant operations sergeant in the 4-118th Infantry Regiment, from Union, South Carolina, who was part of the group of Soldiers at the yard.
Jeter, an 11B Infantry Soldier who is on his fourth deployment in the South Carolina Army National Guard, said that he and his team are proud to be helping one another, as the brigade of approximately 4,000 Soldiers from four National Guard states, has bonded as a cohesive unit after training and working together.
"I'm looking forward to getting on with our mission," said Jeter. "And also mentoring some of our new and junior Soldiers who are on their first deployment."
The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, nicknamed "Old Hickory," is mobilized to support Task Force Spartan and Operation Spartan Shield, to assist in maintaining stability in the region and build on the relationships with allies and partnered nations. The unit is comprised of elements from the North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia Army National Guard. They are assuming the mission as the rotational brigade combat team in Kuwait from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, who assumed authority in March 2019.