599th Trans. finishes uploading for 25th units for JRTC

| January 13, 2017 | 0 Comments
599th Transportation Brigade traffic management specialist Frank Viray watches as a ship's crane lifts a CH-47 Chinook helicopter onto the USNS Brittin at Pearl Harbor during JRTC port operations on Jan. 5. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

599th Transportation Brigade traffic management specialist Frank
Viray watches as a ship’s crane lifts a CH-47 Chinook helicopter onto the
USNS Brittin at Pearl Harbor during JRTC port operations on Jan. 5. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

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

PEARL HARBOR — The 599th Transportation Brigade and its partners uploaded 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, cargo for the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, onto the USNS Brittin from Jan. 3-8, here.

Because the unit move involved an entire infantry brigade, plus elements of 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, preparation began before the holidays with staging at the Schofield Barracks motor pool and the Multiple Deployment Facility on Wheeler Army Airfield.

The 599th teamed up with elements of its total force integration counterpart, the 1394th Transportation Brigade: the 1397th Deployment and Distribution Support Battalion from Vallejo, California, for reception and staging before the holidays, and the 502nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element from Los Alamitos, California, for movement after the holidays.

Additionally, a deployment and distribution management team from the 836th Transportation Battalion at Yokohama, Japan; members of the 835th and 837th transportation battalions; operations staff at the Navy’s Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor; Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 5 from Joint Base Lewis McChord; and members of 2nd BCT and 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th ID, all came together to make the move.

“This collective training event provided us an opportunity to employ all elements of the brigade,” said Col. James Smith, 599th commander. “We did our best to replicate a contingency operation, including the strict use of our deployable brigade standard communications package to command and control the operation.”

Sgt. Suzanne Touchstone, transportation management coordinator for the 1397th, worked the MDF.

“What we are doing here is making sure there are no oil leaks, and checking the cleanliness and the operations function of the vehicles,” she said. “We want to make sure that they will be able to drive onto the ship. We also check that the (radio frequency identification) tags and the (transportation control numbers) match.”

As previously mentioned, the 599th set up an operations center at Pearl Harbor containing the brigade communications package to handle information coming from the port during reception, staging and the operation.

“Because we have the Hawkeye (satellite transceiver) operational, we’re able to update information every minute on what is going onto the ship,” said Bob Meno, chief of the cargo distribution section at the 836th Trans. Bn. “Usually, we are only able to update twice a day. This is not real-time, but it is very close.”

The USNS Brittin awaits cargo at Pearl Harbor on Jan. 6. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

The USNS Brittin awaits cargo at Pearl Harbor on Jan. 6. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

Kwak Chong Chu, 837th Trans. Bn. marine cargo specialist, put together a final stow plan.

“I have to synchronize what is on the original stow plan with what is loaded onto the ship and where it is loaded,” Kwak said. “If some of the containers are loaded in the wrong order, I have to go on the ship to check where the containers are, so I can update the plan.”

“We’ve had some cargo frustrated because of maintenance issues, but the move is going very well overall,” said Warrant Officer 1 Sherilyn Mancheno, 2nd Bde. Mobility Officer. “We have a maintenance team at the port, so we are able to fix vehicles as soon as they go down.”

Members of the 502nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element and Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 5 work together to secure cargo on the weather deck of the USNS Brittin at Pearl Harbor during JRTC port operations on Jan. 6. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

Members of the 502nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations
Element and Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 5 work together to secure cargo on
the weather deck of the USNS Brittin at Pearl Harbor during JRTC port
operations on Jan. 6. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

“Because we were here in December, we were able to work out a lot of potential problems then. We have no frustrated cargo due to admin issues,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Eugene Peters, 1397th mobility warrant. “The move has gone very well. We were able to use the strength of our active duty, reserves, Navy and civilians to accomplish the mission.”

The Brittin’s chief mate agreed.

“This upload is the smoothest I’ve ever seen,” said Chief Mate Robert Scott Adolfi.

Traffic management specialist Frank Viray managed the move for 599th headquarters.

“The most important thing about this move was the way everyone worked together,” Viray said, “especially the Navy cargo handling battalion and the 502nd. They trained each other and worked together as a team.”

“The success of this mission was deeply rooted in the collaborative efforts of Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, FLC-PH, and the 25th ID,” said Smith. “This mission presented a great opportunity to hone our collective deployment skills, further enhancing the Army’s ability to project joint combat power globally.”

The last piece of cargo loaded at 2:45 a.m. on Jan. 7. After balancing the ship with its ballast tanks, the Britton sailed on schedule at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 8.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News, Safety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *