U.S. Army transportation and logistics professionals from the 598th Transportation Brigade, 839th Transportation Battalion, executed mission command for the offload of approximately 160 equipment items at the port facility in Izmir, Turkey, August 6, 2021. The equipment, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery Regiment, 33rd Brigade Combat Team, Illinois Army National Guard, is deploying in support of the exercise Dynamic Front 21.
Dynamic Front is a 7th Army Training Command-led, U.S. Army Europe and Africa-directed exercise designed to increase readiness, lethality and interoperability by exercising allied and partner nations’ ability to integrate joint fires in a multinational environment at both the operational and tactical levels.
The equipment arrived in Izmir aboard the commercial cargo vessel, Alliance Norfolk. Following completion of vessel offload and initial staging operations at the port, the equipment will transit via commercial, line-haul trucking to the Polatli Training Range to support Dynamic Front exercise activities.
“Conducting strategic seaport operations across the European and African theaters is the focus of our battalion’s mission,” said Lt. Col. Carey Way, commander of the 839th. “We deploy expert teams to the ports to coordinate and execute complex vessel discharge and staging operations. By and large, Army equipment on this scale has to come through seaports. Our 839th Soldiers, Army civilians and host-nation professionals are the ones who complete these missions efficiently and safely.”
The 839th’s Black Sea (Turkey) Detachment is responsible for port operations across the increasingly vital southern portion of the European area of operations located in the eastern Mediterranean and around the Black Sea. In fact, the detachment’s personnel are permanently located in Izmir and were ideally positioned to exercise oversight of this port operation.
“Although our team routinely deploys around the theater to conduct port operations, this particular operation is taking place right in our detachment’s host-nation, very close to where we live and work every day,” said Inez Nowicki, director of the 839th Black-Sea (Turkey) detachment. “Most of the outstanding transportation professionals we have in the detachment are Turkish citizens and this is a great opportunity for us to enhance the strong partnerships we have with our Turkish counterparts in the armed forces and at the port.”
The Izmir port is a highly capable and strategically located facility, according to Osman Irim, terminal manager for the Black Sea (Turkey) detachment.
“We’re able to work very well with the Turkish port authorities and our commercial and host-nation partners to bring equipment into this port,” Irim added. “This is the first time in nearly two decades we’ve used the Izmir port to deploy Army equipment and, despite that length of time, we’ve really shown how smoothly we can conduct an operation like this. It is also the first time the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command has used Stevedoring and Related Terminal Services (S&RTS) contracts for inland transportation from the Izmir Port to its final destination and it demonstrates the capability of our detachment to perform onward movement in an operational environment. It’s also been great to work right here in what is essentially our home town.”
The Black Sea Detachment’s leaders reinforced that the onward movement of U.S. Army equipment from the port to the Polatli Training Range will be closely coordinated with our host-nation allies to prioritize safety and minimize impact on the communities involved.
“Bottom line, this port operation has been a significant accomplishment and it also means we have one more highly capable, European port facility available for the movement of U.S. Army and allied forces,” said Way. “We continue to diversify the number of ports we can use and Izmir is the latest success in that effort.”
Dynamic Front 21 activities maximize the use of COVID-19 mitigation techniques, prioritizing the health of Army forces, allies and partners, and the surrounding communities where exercise events occur. For more information about Dynamic Front, visit www.7atc.army.mil/DynamicFront/ or contact the 7th Army Training Command Public Affairs office.