BRUNSSUM, Netherlands – When he’s not at work, the lead transportation specialist with Logistics Readiness Center Benelux can likely be found traveling the world seeking sharp curves, steep drops and loop-the-loops.
Roger Keesmekers said roller coasters and amusement parks are his favorite thing, and over the years he’s been to more than a few.
“In my spare time I love to visit amusement parks and ride roller coasters, mainly,” said Keesmekers, who has worked at the Brunssum transportation office for 12 years. “I visit parks all over the world – in Europe, the Middle East and of course the U.S. I’ve been to Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Sea World, Disney, Dollywood – places like that – but I’ve also been to Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Washington and more.”
When he’s not on a roller coaster or exploring new places, the 50-year-old Dutch local national employee with LRC Benelux is helping Soldiers and Army Civilians with their household goods and unaccompanied baggage shipments. And he said he has a great team at the Personal Property Processing Office in Brunssum to help.
“I’m very happy with my coworkers at the PPPO – Simone Beaujean and Eliza van Wersch. Both of them work hard, and they always take the extra steps to help our customers,” said Keesmekers, who has been the lead transportation specialist at the Brunssum PPPO for about six years.
“My team and I help Soldiers and Army civilians with their permanent change of duty station moves to their new locations, and we help people who are retiring from here with their last moves,” he said.
Keesmekers said his team handles inbound and outbound shipments, but more so outbound because inbound is mostly self-regulatory. For inbound shipments, the customers work directly with the moving companies.
“Sometimes we need to intervene if there are issues or there are delays or the moving company cannot find the house. In those cases we work with the customers, but the majority of our work on a day-to-day basis is outbound shipments,” he said, adding that his office tracks privately owned vehicle shipping, too, but the actual POV shipping is done by the Vehicle Processing Center.
Keesmekers said he and his team get to see a lot of people on a daily basis, but when they see them they’re usually already halfway out the door.
“Most of the time when we have a customer it’s one of the last times we see them so we want to leave a good impression so when they leave they have a good impression of this place. That’s what we always try to do,” he said.
But the Elsloo, Netherlands, resident hasn’t always worked as a transportation specialist or with LRC Benelux. After obtaining his degree in structural engineering he initially went to work for U.S. Army Garrison Benelux’s Directorate of Public Works in 1996. During his 13 years with DPW he said he helped engineer several projects.
“For example, I engineered and constructed the new guard house at the main entrance of Schinnen. I also helped to remodel the headquarters building there,” he said.
But at a certain point Keesmekers said there was no growth for him at DPW so he started looking for other opportunities.
“There’s always more to explore,” he said. “Construction work is fun. I still love to do it, but I also love to work with people and when doing construction I did not do so.”
“Since working at LRC Benelux I never have a problem going to work, and when I go home I’m happy and I’m not worried about anything. It just feels right,” said Keesmekers, who is married to his wife, Diana Beugels, for almost 20 years.
While happy at work and at home, without a worry or a care, Keesmekers still makes an effort to regularly seek out those sharp curves, steep drops and loop-the-loops that only a good amusement park roller coaster can provide.
LRC Benelux is one of seven LRCs under the command and control of the 405th AFSB. LRCs execute installation logistics support and services to include supply, maintenance, and transportation as well as clothing issue facility operations, hazardous material management, personal property and household goods, passenger travel, non-tactical vehicle and garrison equipment management, and property book operations. When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC Benelux directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of USAG Benelux.
LRC Benelux reports to the 405th AFSB, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website and the official Facebook site.