Transit Center Operations in Romania

Thursday February 27, 2014

What is it?

The Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, which has served as the Department of Defense’s primary air mobility hub supporting the U.S. Central Command area of operations since late 2001, is closing in July 2014 and a large part of its mission is shifting to Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Air Base, Romania.

MK Air Base is located adjacent to the city of Constanta, home to the Black Sea’s largest port, and has been used for years as a multi-modal, multiservice cargo hub and has routinely hosted U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps forces for training and exercises.

What has the Army done?

With the closing of Manas, MK is now adding the mission of serving as a primary transit center for personnel retrograde operations from Afghanistan, led by U.S. Army Europe’s 21st Theater Sustainment Command in concert with Romanian forces, the Air Force, Army Materiel Command, the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and other Army and U.S. Transportation Command partners. The facilities at MK, officially the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base Passenger Transit Center, are being expanded to support that mission. That expansion includes common logistical and base operations support such as movement control operations; passenger, customs and baggage facilities; transient billeting; dining facilities; office space; communications; medical treatment facilities; force protection and fire response capabilities; and morale, welfare and recreation facilities.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The transit center began operating at initial capacity this month, and should be at its full operating capacity of 2,000 transient personnel and about 3,000 tons of associated cargo and baggage per day March 1. Its mission is expected to last until retrograde operations from Afghanistan are complete, which is forecast for the end of 2014.

Why is this important to the Army?

The cooperation and proficiency built by USAREUR and its Romanian and American partner organizations during years of working side-by-side at MK assure uninterrupted efficient and cost-effective support to operations in Afghanistan. That enabling expertise and teamwork are vital components of the planned drawdown of U.S. forces, providing America’s warfighters with the world-class service they deserve and helping them to return them home quickly and safely.

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