VLISSINGEN, Netherlands – More than 40 aircraft and hundreds of U.S. Army equipment pieces and vehicles from 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade were received by 39th Transportation Battalion, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, with the support of Dutch military and civilian contractors at the port of Vlissingen, Netherlands on Oct. 17.
Port operations took place day and night by 635th Transportation Detachment, 598th Transportation Brigade (Surface Deployment and Distribution Command), 1st ID CAB, and Dutch personnel to download Blackhawks, Apaches, Chinooks, Humvees, other wheeled vehicles, and equipment from the commercial cargo vessel, ARC Endurance.
U.S. Army Capt. Matthew DeGennaro, commander, 635th Transportation Detachment, 39th Transportation Battalion, spoke highly about his efficient team.
“We have some Soldiers where this is their first mission. So, it’s been a really rewarding experience being able to see my more senior NCO’s mentor my junior Soldiers and teach them how to do their MOS (military occupational specialty) specific tasks,” said DeGennaro.
DeGennaro’s Soldiers effectively execute reception, staging, and onward movement by scanning all items coming off the vessel, safely guiding vehicles to staging areas, and ensuring customs forms are prepared correctly.
In January this year, the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team came through the port of Vlissingen, and now, the host nation is showing their extended capabilities by supporting an aviation brigade. Vlissingen’s accessibility and onward movement modality versatility helps maintain and enhance levels of readiness, provide operational flexibility, and develop relationships.
Netherlands Armed Forces Maj. Willibrord Voets, officer in charge, said the open communication between U.S. troops, civilian contractors, and their military allows the operation to run smoothly and builds trust.
Air Force, Army, and drone detection support was provided by Dutch military to ensure the port’s security and arrange the operation’s facilities and life support areas.
“It’s really a team effort across everybody from the Dutch to the Americans. It’s a great experience,” said 1st Lt. Christine Martin, port officer in charge, 635th Transportation Detachment.
The aviation brigade from Ft. Riley, Kansas, is part of a rotational deployment, replacing 3rd ID CAB, who is exiting the theater later this year. About 270 1st ID CAB Soldiers were on-site at the port to assist operations and guide and assemble their aircraft. Maintenance and tests were conducted on aircraft before they flew to their final destinations, and all other vehicles and equipment will be transferred by commercial line haul.
The 21st Theater Sustainment Command is U.S. Army Europe and Africa's lead organization for all sustainment activities including logistics support, transportation, combat sustainment, human resources, finance, contracting and all other areas in the field of sustainment. The command also serves as the responsible headquarters for USAREUR-AF's military police, medical and sustainment brigades, providing combat engineers, military police and medical professionals during partnership training and other operations in support of not only USAREUR-AF, but also NATO, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Central Command.
For more information on the 21st TSC visit https://www.21tsc.army.mil/