CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait- In the aftermath of a catastrophic explosion at the Port of Beirut on Aug. 4, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command immediately jumped into action to support relief efforts – and underscored the U.S. Central Command’s commitment to help a regional partner in need.
The Fort Knox, Kentucky-headquartered command provides theater-level logistical support – from food to ammunition to building materials – within to U.S. forces operating in the Middle East.
It was the organization’s forward command post at Camp Arifjan that supported USCENTCOM’s response to Lebanon.
In a collaborative effort, the 1st TSC’s Distribution Management Center coordinated with its joint logistics enterprise partners at the Defense Logistics Agency to release supplies from their warehouse for movement to Camp Arifjan. While, the 3rd Medical Command-Forward provided medical supplies.
“Our response to the humanitarian assistance mission was focused on speed,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Morgan Kim, 1st TSC’s distribution integration branch operations officer. “The Beirut explosion left casualties in the thousands, and in addition to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we knew that the Lebanese people were suffering and needed food and water. Our team worked tirelessly to provide assistance and complete the mission.”
The unit’s Soldiers and contractors prepared supplies, while the U.S. Air Force provided strategic airlift. Within 12 hours of the tragedy, three C-17 Globemaster IIIs had delivered critical supplies to the Lebanese Armed Forces at Rafici Hariri International Airport in Lebanon.
“My team worked with their joint logistics enterprise partners, DLA and the CENTCOM Deployment and Distribution Operation Center, in the coordination of receiving and staging the cases of MREs and water for the shipment to Lebanon,” said Maj. Danica Garcia, material management branch chief, 1st TSC. “This required constant communication so there was no confusion on the mission requirements.”
Within a day of the blast, the 1st TSC sent more than 21,000 cases of culturally appropriate meals, 5,700 cases of bottled water, 670 cases of health and comfort packs, and three pallets of medical supplies.
“The ability of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command to respond and coordinate with our joint logistics enterprise partners highlights the importance of our training and ability to execute,” said Brig. Gen. Dianne Del Rosso, deputy commanding general, 1st TSC. “Our team recognizes the importance of this mission to the Lebanese people and the impact these supplies will have on their lives.”