Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric Brooker, 841st Transportation Battalion DDST chief mobility warrant officer,  monitors vehicles as they board the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. Exercises like this ensure the U.S. military will be able to dynamically project force to set the theater by mobilizing and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis and redeploying them when their mission is complete.
1 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric Brooker, 841st Transportation Battalion DDST chief mobility warrant officer, monitors vehicles as they board the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. Exercises like this ensure the U.S. military will be able to dynamically project force to set the theater by mobilizing and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis and redeploying them when their mission is complete. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
A contract worker directs a vehicle as it its backed onto the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 will exercise the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.
2 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A contract worker directs a vehicle as it its backed onto the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 will exercise the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
A contract worker directs a vehicle as it its backed onto the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 will exercise the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (U.S. Army photo/Kimberly Spinner)
3 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A contract worker directs a vehicle as it its backed onto the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 will exercise the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (U.S. Army photo/Kimberly Spinner) (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
1061 – A contract worker backs a vehicle onto the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. Exercises like this ensure the U.S. military will be able to dynamically project force to set the theater by mobilizing and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis and redeploying them when their mission is complete.
4 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – 1061 – A contract worker backs a vehicle onto the M/V Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. Exercises like this ensure the U.S. military will be able to dynamically project force to set the theater by mobilizing and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis and redeploying them when their mission is complete. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Marlee Rees, 841st Transportation Battalion, verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.
5 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Marlee Rees, 841st Transportation Battalion, verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Marlee Rees, 841st Transportation Battalion, verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.
6 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Marlee Rees, 841st Transportation Battalion, verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Cooper/Ports America contract worker secures a military vehicle on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.
7 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Cooper/Ports America contract worker secures a military vehicle on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Cooper/Ports America contract workers secure military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.
8 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Cooper/Ports America contract workers secure military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Cooper/Ports America contract workers secure military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.
9 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Cooper/Ports America contract workers secure military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Cooper/Ports America contract worker directs a driver to park a vehicle and others prepare to secure military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas.
10 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Cooper/Ports America contract worker directs a driver to park a vehicle and others prepare to secure military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe.
11 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe. (U.S. Army photo/Kimberly Spinner)
12 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe. (U.S. Army photo/Kimberly Spinner) (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe.
13 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe.
14 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement non-commissioned officer, inventories and verifies stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion at Naval Weapons Station, Joint Base Charleston in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 March 10, 2020. The United States Army Reserve unit is part of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s total force team participating in the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercises, deploying a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Members of the lift gang at the Port of Beaumont, Texas simultaneously perform lift-on/lift-off operations on the ground and deck of the Bob Hope-class roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Benavidez Feb. 22, 2020 in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20. The ship will carry military equipment to the European theater as part of almost 6,000 pieces of cargo that the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command will process through ports in the Gulf of Mexico.
15 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the lift gang at the Port of Beaumont, Texas simultaneously perform lift-on/lift-off operations on the ground and deck of the Bob Hope-class roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Benavidez Feb. 22, 2020 in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20. The ship will carry military equipment to the European theater as part of almost 6,000 pieces of cargo that the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command will process through ports in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
1st Armored Division discuss a stow plan for theM/V Resolve at the Port of Beaumont, bound for Germany in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 Feb. 21, 2020. Exercises like this ensure the U.S. military will be able to dynamically project force to set the theater by mobilizing and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis and redeploying them when their mission is complete.
16 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – 1st Armored Division discuss a stow plan for theM/V Resolve at the Port of Beaumont, bound for Germany in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 Feb. 21, 2020. Exercises like this ensure the U.S. military will be able to dynamically project force to set the theater by mobilizing and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis and redeploying them when their mission is complete. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Staff Sgt. David Crowell, 842nd Transportation Battalion cargo specialist, footprints and counts pieces on the M/V Resolve at the Port of Beaumont in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 Feb. 20, 2020. Soldiers, government civilians and stevedores are working together at the port to ensure our Army’s vehicles and equipment arrive in Bremerhaven on time during the largest deployment of U.S-based forces to Europe for an exercise in more than 25 years.
17 / 17 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. David Crowell, 842nd Transportation Battalion cargo specialist, footprints and counts pieces on the M/V Resolve at the Port of Beaumont in Support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 Feb. 20, 2020. Soldiers, government civilians and stevedores are working together at the port to ensure our Army’s vehicles and equipment arrive in Bremerhaven on time during the largest deployment of U.S-based forces to Europe for an exercise in more than 25 years. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Spinner) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Surface Warriors - alongside their commercial and military partners - demonstrated their ability to project strategic readiness through their support of the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercise.

Surface warriors across the command began planning and working on DEFENDER-Europe 20 moves over six months ago. And although the exercise was scaled back due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, SDDC personnel successfully moved more than 3,000 pieces of equipment through multiple seaports from the United States to Europe.

SDDC’s role in the exercise was to assure the deployment of a combat credible force to Europe, through cooperation and coordination with its military and commercial partners, in support of NATO and the U.S. National Defense Strategy, and then redeploy them back to home station when their mission was complete.

“Our commercial carriers and partners are key to our operations, like the port authorities when we're doing all the intermodal activities and the rail carriers that are bringing in all the combat power,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen, SDDC commanding general.

“Since January, the Army deployed approximately 6,000 Soldiers from the United States to Europe including a division headquarters and an armored brigade combat team,” said Gen. James C. McConville, chief of staff of the Army, during a mid-March press conference.

Surface Warriors assisted deploying those units as they began moving equipment from home stations in late February via rail, line haul and convoy. They staged, processed and loaded over 9,000 pieces of equipment at four U.S. ports, although some of the equipment was either stopped before ships could depart the U.S. or before they could be unloaded in Europe when COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

“This exercise was a good way of working on the craft of deploying. The skills and the tasks that are essential to do this successfully start in the motor pool,” said Lt. Col. Gordon Vincent, commander of SDDC’s 842nd Transportation Battalion located in Beaumont, Texas. “So, every time we get an opportunity to practice how we would execute at speed, we have to take advantage of it.”

The time planning, staging and moving equipment did not go to waste. SDDC and the units they supported were able to exercise the muscle movements necessary for projecting strategic power from the U.S. to Europe at scale.

“We practice so that we get the discipline and the speed to project when our nation needs it and to be there at the right time to deliver the warfighting output that matters,” said Farmen. “That's why these exercises are so important.”

Readiness is the capability of our forces to conduct the full range of military operations to defeat all enemies regardless of the threats they pose, and exercises like this ensures that SDDC and its military and commercial partners can deliver readiness and lethality at speed by getting equipment and supplies to the point of need.

“Strategic readiness is our ability to project forces,” said Farmen. “It's one thing to be trained and ready when you're sitting at your post, camp or station - that's tactical readiness. But, true strategic readiness is our ability to project power anywhere at the time and place of our choosing. That's what makes us a superpower.”

Related Links

DEFENDER-Europe 20 modified in size and scope

Army.mil: Europe News

STAND-TO! DEFENDER-Europe 20

News Release: Exercise Defender-Europe 20 Update

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)