PORT OF SAGUNTO, Spain - Port operations for Operation Atlantic Resolve continue at Sagunto, Spain, on July 14, in a combined effort to build and maintain expeditionary forces in Europe. Armored equipment from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, an Army unit out of Fort Bliss, Texas, was transported into the Port of Sagunto, Spain.
Since April 2014, U.S. Army Europe and Africa has led the Department of Defense’s Atlantic Resolve land efforts by bringing units based in the U.S. to Europe. The deployment of ready, combat-credible U.S. forces to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve is evidence of the strong and unremitting U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe. Through bilateral, joint and multinational training, Atlantic Resolve builds readiness, increases interoperability and enhances the bond between ally and partner militaries.
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Trevor Sheldon, logistics support officer in charge, assigned to the 627th Transportation Detachment (Movement Control), said the movement control team has been in close coordination with 2/1 AD to help load and transport the equipment for the mission, which is set in a multi-domain operational environment to enhance combined interoperability.
The port was filled with trucks and forklifts unloading more than 420 pieces of equipment off the vessel and transporting them to areas where they would continue to their final destinations in Germany and Poland.
The equipment included wheeled vehicles, rolling stock, and supporting equipment, such as containerized kitchens, fuel, and ground maintenance needed to maintain the wheeled vehicles for this portion of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Although being the officer in charge at the port is a new experience for Sheldon, he is enjoying spending time with his Soldiers.
"This has been my first mission at a port as an OIC; getting to know my Soldiers in a different setting, learning their capabilities, and working with the Spanish military is cool," said Sheldon. "It takes you out of that culture of being in America, putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation, having to go through those cultural and language barriers, and then at the end of the day, you just end up feeling more connected with them."
U.S. Army Maj. Shane Hook, unit representative for 2/1 AD said this is the first port operation for most of the "Strike" Soldiers.
"I've never been here; this is an entirely different lens of the Army from which the Soldiers, junior leaders, and brigade combat team get to see," said Hook. "I hope my Soldiers see the other side of how their equipment gets to them and [the] theater."
The movement of equipment from the continental U.S. involved extensive support from the port’s host nation Spain, demonstrating the importance of ally and partner investment in European military readiness and defense.
"What we're seeing here and what we're a part of now is was separates us from any other military in the world—our ability to project combat power the way we do,” said Hook. "They [2/1 AD] push their equipment out. They receive their equipment when they arrive, but they never see this. So hopefully, they will get that appreciation for that."
After the equipment goes through maintenance tests, it will be moved by the 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, for staging and onward movement. This operation is one of many during Operation Atlantic Resolve designed to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries.
“It's wonderful to be able to work with both the Spanish military and the civilians and contractors here," said Hook. "This is a really great opportunity, and the Soldiers are really gung-ho about it. They're excited to do this.”