599th offloads Apaches, stows Black Hawks

| January 15, 2016 | 0 Comments
USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor

USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor

Story and photos by Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR — The 599th Transportation Brigade, headquartered at Wheeler Army Airfield, loaded out elements of the 25th Combat Aviation Bde. and III Marine Expeditionary Force onto the USNS Maj. Stephen W. Pless, here, Jan. 5-6, in support of Pacific Pathways 2016 exercises.

Sean Manning, 836th Transportation Battalion marine cargo specialist and Ray Turner, chief of terminal operations at the 837th Transportation Battalion in Busan, South Korea, direct movement on the weather deck of the USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

Sean Manning, 836th Transportation Battalion marine cargo specialist and Ray Turner, chief of terminal operations at the 837th Transportation Battalion in Busan, South Korea, direct movement on the weather deck of the USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

To accomplish the move, the 599th teamed up with other transportation professionals from Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor; Military Sealift Command; a Navy cargo handling battalion; a seven-person deployment and distribution management team (DDMT) from the 836th Trans. Bn. headquarters and Guam Detachment; and a representative from the 837th Trans. Bn. headquartered at Busan, South Korea.

Before uploading the cargo, the team first offloaded four Apache helicopters and supporting equipment coming from Joint Base Lewis McChord, said Frank Viray, 599th traffic management specialist.

“We were able to offload the incoming cargo from JBLM without any problems,” said Viray. “Everything we had to discharge was feasible and identifiable right at the ramps.”

Ron Barrer, operations officer from the Guam detachment, oversaw loading the main deck.

“We haven’t really had any problems with the move, but we did have to make a couple of adjustments because of height restrictions,” Barrer said.

From left: Lt. Col Joshua Vogel and Capt. Kimberly Ellenburg, commander and operations officer of the 836th Transportation Battalion headquartered in Yokohama North Dock, Japan, direct movement on the pier at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

From left: Lt. Col Joshua Vogel and Capt. Kimberly Ellenburg, commander and operations officer of the 836th Transportation Battalion headquartered in Yokohama North Dock, Japan, direct movement on the pier at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

 

 

 

 

Viray said the area they had planned to stow UH-60 Black Hawks was not high enough, so the team moved the helicopters to another part of the ship.

Lt. Col. Joshua Vogel, commander, 836th Trans. Bn., led the DDMT.

“This is a unique opportunity to coordinate with brigades and battalions down to the stow plan,” said Vogel. “We’re working with a stow plan from JBLM; their plan let us move all over the ship.”

“Our sister brigade’s detachment had moved everything into a racetrack type of configuration, so we had access to all of the decks and could get into every hold without moving anything,” Viray said.

“This was good because we had the height difference and needed to be able to get everything all the way down,” he added.

Ray Turner is chief of terminal operations at the 837th Trans. Bn.

“Ray is here because the ship will eventually wind up in Korea, and he needs to know what happened at earlier ports. Even though he was just sent here to observe, he spent the whole day supervising the weather deck loading for us. Every marine cargo specialist I know is like that,” said Vogel.

Ray Turner, chief of terminal operations at the 837th Transportation Battalion in Busan, South Korea, directs movement on the weather deck of the USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

Ray Turner, chief of terminal operations at the 837th Transportation Battalion in Busan, South Korea, directs movement on the weather deck of the USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

“Working the weather deck, I am trying to get as much of the heavy equipment as possible up toward the bow to balance the weight and stabilize the ship for the trip across the Pacific,” Turner said.

“We got a late start, but we haven’t had anything unusual occur,” he said. “This is the second leg of a four-stage iteration.”

Because the ship was originally scheduled to arrive and begin the move early on Jan. 4, the DDMT arrived in Hawaii, Jan. 2, said Sean Manning, 836th marine cargo specialist.

James Luxemburg, 836th information technology specialist, said that the Pless’ one-day weather delay was a boon for cargo documentation.

“We had some problems when we were setting up our computer manifesting system. When we entered the file of the cargo list it made a system error. Without the data, we can’t function with our scanners, so we had to go to our backups. We weren’t able to load that until Monday. Luckily, the ship came in late, so it didn’t affect our mission,” Luxemburg said.

A mechanical problem kept the team from finishing the port operations in one day.

“We finished the loadout on Jan. 6,” said Viray. “As it happened, the gantry crane had a mechanical failure, so we weren’t able to load nine containers until the next morning. We began again at 8 a.m., and finished in an hour. The ship sailed at 4 p.m.”

From left: Ray Turner, chief of terminal operations at the 837th Transportation Battalion in Busan, South Korea, and Frank Viray, 599th Transportation Brigade traffic management specialist, direct movement on the weather deck of the USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

From left: Ray Turner, chief of terminal operations at the 837th Transportation Battalion in Busan, South Korea, and Frank Viray, 599th Transportation Brigade traffic management specialist, direct movement on the weather deck of the USNS Stephen W. Pless at Pearl Harbor during a move Jan. 5 by the 599th Transportation Brigade for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Pacific Pathways 2016.

“Overall, the mission went pretty smoothly,” said Scott Matthews, 599th deputy director of operations. “This operation was a great opportunity for us to practice expeditionary stow planning across multiple (Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command) echelons in support of the Army, Marine Corps and the Pathways 16-1 exercises.”

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