BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, commanding general, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, visited 401st Army Field Support Brigade Oct. 3 to see firsthand some of the equipment that will be retrograded using SDDC and other transportation options from the Combined Joint Operations-Afghanistan in the coming months.

SDDC is a critical partner for the 401st's equipment retrograde mission by providing strategic lift capability to move retrograde equipment from the theater. Multi-modal equipment moves require a carefully coordinated series of actions to ensure the right equipment is ready and staged for movement to an aerial point of departure, where it will be flown to a seaport for surface transportation to the final destination.

"It was important for General Richardson to see what the 401st is doing," said Maj. Christopher L. Jenkins, 831st Transportation Battalion, SDDC liaison officer to the 401st AFSB. "It was important for him to see the 401st RPAT and retrograde missions and understand that sustainment is still the priority for the 401st."

Jenkins said the 831st Transportation Brigade and battalion leadership is in regular communication with the 401st commander to ensure the missions run smoothly.

"It's important for us to understand what he [the 401st commander] needs and what the 401st needs to provide service and reduce friction points," said Jenkins.

"Our retrograde mission depends heavily on the daily success of SDDC and their contract carrier management program," said Capt. Nicholas R. Steele, 401st AFSB support operations transportation officer. "The 401st AFSB and SDDC are embedded and synchronized at every level of command from RPAT yard to brigade level to ensure our priorities of effort stay focused on daily retrograde and production out of our RPAT yards."