599th makes long Javelin throw

| September 9, 2016 | 0 Comments
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HMNZS Te Kaha

 

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

 

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — What you know and who you know were equally important when a member of the 599th Transportation Brigade provided the key for sending Foreign Military Sales cargo to its rightful owners on Aug. 3.

Carlos Tibbetts, terminal operations chief, made connections between U.S. Transportation Command, Pearl Harbor, and the New Zealand Navy that enabled New Zealand-bound Javelin missiles to catch a ride on a Royal New Zealand Navy frigate at the end of Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2016.

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.

Javelin missiles

“I actually only had a tertiary role in this,” Tibbetts said. When Leah (Cotton, SDDC liaison to Enterprise Readiness Center at U.S. Transportation Command) called me to ask if I knew of any way to ship from Hawaii if the missiles could make it into Hickam, I asked if they knew RIMPAC was going on, and if they had tried to ship the cargo back with the New Zealand Navy.”

“When she said they weren’t aware of it, I called a contact at Navy logistics to make sure New Zealand was participating in the exercise, and then got him and Chuck Martin at Naval Magazine in touch with TRANSCOM to see if they could work out the details.”

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.Kay Clodfelter, logistics management specialist in the Enterprise Readiness Center, was working the move for U.S. Transportation Command.

“Our role is to improve customer support for foreign military partners in FMS shipments. If they are seeking or are required to use Defense Transportation System, we coordinate with Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees government-to-government agreements for foreign military sales,” Clodfelter said.

“We work closely with the implementing agency. In this case it was U.S. Army Security Assistance Command since the cargo was going to the New Zealand army. We attempt to collaborate early on with all parties, especially if it involves armed ammunition and explosives.

Finally our SDDC liaison in ERC linked us in with 599th Transportation Brigade and Carlos Tibbetts. The RIMPAC exercise gave a very small window for success. Through Carlos, we were able to link up with the necessary personnel.

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.Cotton said, “My role in this shipment was connecting the dots; connecting TRANSCOM people to personnel in Hawaii.

“Carlos (Tibbetts) was amazing” she added. “He was able to make sure that Kay (Clodfelter) was connected to all the right people on island to ensure that this shipment was seamless to us.”

“This cargo was frustrated for seven-eight months because of problems with lift capabilities. We hate to have cargo frustrated like that because you know that if they have purchased it, it is necessary to their national defense. If they don’t have it, it can have second- or third-order impacts with an adverse effect on the whole region,” Clodfelter said.

“I suggested that the ERC get a list of military exercises around the world to help them with opportune sealift when other means of sending FMS shipments won’t work in the future,” Tibbetts said.

Chuck Martin, ordnance manager for Navy Munitions Command, East Asia Division Detachment Pearl Harbor, took custody of the missiles when they arrived at Hickam Air Force Base from the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Alabama, via Travis Air Force Base, California.

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.

“We had advanced notification that the plane was coming in, so our contractors were standing by for it,” Martin said. “They dunnaged the cargo on site. They had to build blocking and bracing with 2x4s and 2x6s that went around it so wouldn’t slide. Then they tarped it and put the explosives notices on the outside, and trucked it out here to NAVMAG.”

“When the ship came in, we took it down to the pier and loaded it. That was all done by our contractor for the munitions handling contract for Naval Munitions Command.”

New Zealanders Sailors on hand for RIMPAC were surprised to learn they were slated to carry the missiles back home from Hawaii.

“The request to embark the Javelins came completely out of the blue,” said Lt. Cmdr. Warren McLuckie, weapons engineering officer, HMNZS Te Kaha, in an e-mail interview. “The assistant weapon engineering officer was approached on completion of the live-fire briefing in Pearl Harbour and asked whether the ship could support the activity. I had no previous knowledge of the requirement, but we are always keen to support the wider Defence Force and logistics organisation.”

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.Once the crew knew the missiles were coming aboard the Te Kaha, they had to quickly create special stowage for the cargo.

“Thankfully we had the space available to store the missiles,” McLuckie said. “However, we did need to get some special platforms made to store them on. … Things got pretty close as far as timings were concerned, but it all worked out well.”

Even with all the work everyone had put into the shipment, the final element did not fall into place until time was running out.

“The ship worked with both the Joint Forces Head Quarters and the Fleet Engineering Authority in New Zealand to gain the required approval to embark the missiles,” McLuckie said. “This was mainly a safety assessment and to check compatibility with other munitions. We received the final approval the day before we went to NAVMAG.”

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.

Loading of Javelin Missiles onto HMNZS Te Kaha at the Naval Magazine, Pearl Harbor.

“After embarking the missiles from NAVMAG we conducted a short national tasking before heading home,” McLuckie said. “The missiles were subsequently safely offloaded at the Defence Ammunition Depot – Kauri Point on arrival in New Zealand.”

 

 

 

 

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