Marine cargo specialists are force multipliers, ensuring the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command can successfully deliver the Joint Force to the fight.
Often the ‘go to’ person on any mission, the marine cargo specialist is engaged in every step of the movement process. They coordinate cargo movement through and to the ports via convoy, truck, rail, and even cargo arriving by air, and then staging that cargo and readying it for its next mode of transport.
These subject matter experts serve as the link between the enterprise, ships, ports, trucks, trains, cargo, and customers. They are also the single point of contact for port personnel to work through for staging, berthing, overall operations, as well as handling any applicable tariff billing for such services.
At SDDC’s battalion and brigade levels, marine cargo specialists are the primary points of contact for the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, as well as the primary operational point of contact for various commercial shipping lines, as they seek to bring their vessels into our ports to load or discharge cargo.
To ensure that other marine cargo specialists and stakeholders have the information they require to execute their tasks further along the supply chain, SDDC’s marine cargo specialists communicate the details of their accomplished work via an information repository within the Integrated Computerized Deployment System, or ICODES.
Operating ICODES to plan a ship-load concept, marine cargo specialists enable the rapid and safe loading of combat power onto ships, while also ensuring cargo is safely transported across the ocean.
Marine cargo specialists must understand the risks to life at sea and the safety concerns of a vessel’s master to minimize risk to the vessel and her crew. In addition to knowing and meeting minimum standards set forth in regulations, they must understand the nature and characteristics of hazardous materials, ranging from batteries to bombs. They uses ICODES to ensure these hazardous materials are stowed safely aboard a wide range of ocean-going vessels.
In coordination with Military Sealift Command and SDDC’s commercial partners, the union of stow planners and ICODES facilitates greater contract efficiency, lowers enterprise costs, increases port throughput, and shortens the overall fort-to-foxhole transportation pipeline.
These Surface Warriors serve as the mission’s contracting officer’s representative or ordering officer. They monitor contract performance, ensuring contractors not only fulfill contract obligations, but do so in a fiscally responsible manner without incurring costly damage to U.S. Government cargo.
This responsibility requires expert knowledge of not only the Federal Acquisition Regulations-based stevedoring and related terminal services contracts (S&RTS), but also the local and national-level collective bargaining agreements that the facilities and companies have with longshoremen and other labor organizations. Marine cargo specialists bring all of these necessary partners together at the working level on a daily basis to accomplish SDDC’s, and ultimately the U.S. Army’s, missions.
Marine cargo specialists are subject matter experts on performance evaluation of current S&RTS contracts and for technical evaluations of future contracts. Years of experience and their on-ground operations perspective with both commercial and military vessels, as well as various civilian labor forces, enables them to review and evaluate new stevedoring contract proposals to ensure proposals meet the needs of the Army, and can demonstrate the ability to continue to do so for upcoming years of performance.
SDDC’s marine cargo specialists deliver the Joint Force to the fight.