By CPL Christopher BigelowOctober 12, 2011
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Nearly 1,200 containers of serviceable material and more than 35,000 line items are sitting in the Theater Redistribution Center here at any one time.
That's a lot of stuff.
As operations in Iraq come to a close ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline, thousands of containers, holding thousands of items, are convoyed to this huge base in the Kuwaiti desert.
A major part of the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command's mission here is the responsible drawdown of forces from Iraq, and the redistribution of these materials back into the Army's supply system.
"Our function and mission is to receive all retrograde material coming back from theater in Iraq and Afghanistan, inspect it, classify it, segregate it, and redistribute it back into the Army supply system, so that the Army has visibility of it," said Bruce Parker,of General Dynamics Information Technology, the deputy program manager for the Supply Support Activity contract.
"The 364th ESC will be our oversight and our subject matter experts to go to for any processing questions we have that would fall outside our statement of work," Parker said. "We will be working very closely with them to use their experience and expertise to process this material; they will be the ones who have final say on how we do business."
Units in theater pack their containers and ship them to W2N Kuwait. Each container in the W2N yard goes through the same process, from the moment it is shipped, to its arrival in the yard.
"Each container is given a radio frequency identification tag so that we have an idea of what's coming and when we can expect it to arrive," said Parker.
"Once the container gets here we will verify through the Manifest and the RFID tag that it is destined for us, we will download it here, and then we will initially check it for any sensitive or controlled items, such as weapons," he added.
Downloaded or emptied containers are placed into the W2N processing lanes where classification personnel, unload, sort through and process their materials back into their various commodities.
Material is then entered into the Army's supply system and from there W2N personnel follow the instruction given by Army Material Command.
"After receiving our [AMC] instructions we send the materials to the wash rack where they are cleaned to meet customs requirements and shipped to the states for repair," said Michael Hamilton, the deputy division manager of the theater distribution center.
"The military are very supportive of us, their expertise in helping us expedite our material to the states is invaluable, and we just need them every step of the way," said Hamilton.
"The Army has taken the time to plan the responsible drawdown of forces out of Iraq and they have done it in phases to where it can be a smooth transition out of Iraq and through here so that there are no real bottle necks in their supply system when returning their troops back to the states," he added.
"We fear no container, bring 'em on."