Green Bay packers of the 599th load with joint service team

| April 29, 2016 | 0 Comments


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

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — The 599th Transportation Brigade teamed-up to load equipment onto the MV Green Bay for the 523rd Engineer Company, here, April 20.

The joint team was comprised of members from the 599th Trans. Bde; Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor-Hickam (FLC-PH); 647th Logistics Readiness Squadron; Naval Cargo Handling Battalion 10 from Yorktown, Va.; and 523rd Eng. Co.

“The mission, today, is truly indicative of the joint environment we commonly operate in as a brigade,” said Col. James Smith, 599th commander. “We truly appreciate the support from our sister services.”

Frank Viray, 599th Trans. Bde. traffic management specialist, was single port manager for the move.

599th Transportation Brigade traffic management specialist Frank Viray gives the safety briefing after lunch during the load out of 523rd Eng. Co. cargo and equipment April 20.

599th Transportation Brigade traffic management specialist Frank Viray gives a safety briefing during the load out of 523rd Eng. Co. cargo and equipment April 20.

“We had to back everything onto the ship,” Viray said. “That was the most unusual aspect of this move. Because of the way the Green Bay is laid out, we didn’t have a choice with all of the big engineering cargo.

“This was also the first time we were able to work with the Air Force element. They were good workers,” Viray continued. “Some were proficient and some weren’t, but once they had the knowledge and skills, they were fine. They weren’t used to handling chains, binders and breaker bars.”

“A petty officer from the Navy cargo handling battalion orchestrated a class for them the day before the move to help get them up to speed,” he added.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Alexander, FLC-PH operations officer, explained the team composition.


A 22-ton crane backs up the ramp of the M/V Green Bay, April 21.

“We didn’t have enough notice to get a full complement of Navy cargo handling battalion personnel to act as stevedores for this move,” Alexander said. “The 647th Log. Read. Sqdn. works for 15th Air Wing but also works with FLC-PH for surge. We requested help from them, and they were able to assist.”

“We’re filling in for a shortage,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Alice Lewis-Turner, logistics planner for the 647th.

It is great for us to work a joint mission like this,” she continued. “This is totally different than air operations. We’re used to a cargo yard and planes, usually just with the Air Force.”


A soldier helps a heavy expanded mobility tactical truck back down the interior ramp as a humvee and trailer drive in to park on the main deck.

Ken Savellli, Central Gulf Lines cargo superintendent, was on hand to oversee the loading from the carrier’s perspective.

“Central Gulf Lines always sends someone out to validate the cargo and make sure everything is safe on their ships,” said Viray. “It’s a big help.”

“I won’t be going to the other ports on this voyage, but my assistants will. We’ll have someone on hand at every port,” Savelli said.

“We usually don’t use the Green Bay in the Pacific. We use the Green Ridge. Because it has space for wider turning radius inside, you don’t have to back in cargo. But it wasn’t available right now,” Savelli said.


599th Transportation Brigade traffic management specialist Frank Viray acts as forward ground guide to help a 523rd Eng. Co. Soldier back a scraper on the M/V Green Bay during load out of the company’s cargo and equipment, April 20, at Pearl Harbor.

Viray said, after the lashers had finished work in their assigned areas, they pitched in on other areas to make sure the upload finished on time.

“Everything was accomplished within the allotted time, and was approved by the chief mate,” Viray said.

The Green Bay docked at 7:30 a.m., April 21. The first piece was loaded at 8:15 a.m., the last piece was loaded at 3:15 p.m., and the vessel departed on schedule at 8 p.m., Viray said.

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