KAWAIHAE, Hawaii -- Two 599th Transportation Brigade personnel traveled to Hawaii Island Aug. 5-8 to support the 3rd Marine Corps Regiment’s deployment to home station from the Pohakuloa Training Center.
The 599th Brigade Operations directorate deployed Jimmy Quilon, traffic management specialist, and Marco Arboleda, marine cargo specialist, to act as single port managers during the upload at the Pohakuloa Training Center. Neither had worked at the small port before.
“When we first arrived in Kailua-Kona on Aug. 5, we went to the port to meet with the Marines and Young Brothers representatives for the move,” said Arboleda.
“All of the gear was already there waiting at the military staging area, about 500 meters from the port, when we got there,” said Quilon. “We went over plans that first day and decided which vehicles and cargo would go on first.
“On Aug. 6 we had call forwarding and staged at the pier ready to load,” he said. “On Aug. 7 we loaded everything.”
Aug. 7 was a long day at the port.
“The barge arrived at 11 a.m. on Aug. 7. We loaded the first piece at about 3 p.m., and we finished before 9:30 p.m.” said Arboleda.
Marine 1st Lt. Ian Thomasgard, Motor Transport Officer, 3rd Bn., 3rd Marine Regiment, said the upload movement here was very smooth.
“Meeting with all of the players before the load out made a big difference,” he said. “We were able to sit down and let the Young Brothers point of contact know what Marine Corps protocols are for handling the equipment.”
Quilon agreed that the move was trouble-free.
“This move was much better than the move from Oahu to PTA (Pohakuloa Training Center),” he said. “1st Lt. Thomasgard was very hands-on. He was on-site for everything (Thomasgard had been on Hawaii Island during the Oahu move). He and his team were professional and easy to work with during the whole operation.”
Quilon made sure contracted port-handling crews were fulfilling the terms of the contract during the move and Arboleda was on site to ensure the barge could accommodate the move. Both kept a tally of the equipment that went on the barge.
“We were only able to stay for one barge of the Marines’ equipment returning from PTA,” Quilon said. “Originally, we had also planned to stay for another barge that was supposed to come in and offload on Saturday for Defender Pacific, but that one was cancelled, so we only worked this move for the 3rd Marine Regiment Field Artillery exercise.”
Quilon said neither he nor Arboleda had ever been to Kawaihae. The town of Kawaihae does not have a hotel, so they stayed in Kailua-Kona while they were working here. During the flight, everyone wore masks and the airline had people spaced out with plenty of room between people in the cabin, he said.
Quilon and Arbedola returned to Oahu on Aug. 8, four days before the 14-day quarantine resumed for inter-island travel from Hawaii Island to Oahu on Aug. 12.
The barge left the morning of Aug. 8 and returned to Young Brothers piers 39-40 at Honolulu Harbor on the morning of Aug. 9, Arboleda said.