Story and Photos by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — The 544th Transportation Detachment held its deactivation ceremony on the Missing Man Field, here, Oct. 21.
As part of the 545th Trans. Company, 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 45th Sust. Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command, the unit has been deactivated many times during its history, which goes back to March 1944.
From then until now, the unit has been deactivated and reactivated a total of six times throughout its storied career.
“The 544th Trans. Det. has operated throughout the waterways of the continental U.S. from California to Virginia, and several places in between,” said Lt. Col. Jeffery Carter, commander, 524th CSSB.
He continued by saying the unit has served proudly in the Pacific theater and southwest Asia, earning battle streamers for its efforts during combat operations in World War II in 1945, Vietnam in 1968 and Operation Desert Shield from 1990-1991.
The unit has also been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
The 544th Trans. Det. had operated the joint high-speed vessel, or JHSV, called “Joint Venture,” to transport its crew and cargo across the Pacific.
“An impressive ship, the JHSV is capable of transporting approximately 20 C17 loads of cargo, at speeds of 40 knots, to a distance of 3,000 miles,” said Capt. Samuel Clonch, commander, 544th Trans. Det. “At (more than) 300 feet long and 90 feet at the beam, the JHSV is among the largest of the Army’s watercraft.”
An extremely flexible vessel, Joint Venture is rapidly reconfigurable and can perform a variety of missions, including the ability to ferry up to 325 combat personnel and 400 tons of cargo, Clonch added.
As the unit deactivated, its colors were cased to signify the completion of a season within the linage of the unit and also represent a new beginning for the Soldiers who faithfully rallied behind it. Their victories and failures, the memories of comrades lost and eternal friendships gained, none of which will be forgotten, are represented in the casing of the unit’s guidon.
“The detachment will case its guidon, but will always be prepared to be called back to service in support of future operations,” Carter said.