By Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR — The 599th Transportation Brigade and its partners offloaded 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, cargo and equipment from the USNS Benavidez, here, from April 4-6.
The 2nd IBCT had been training at Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana, for about three months. Before the deployment, the 599th had earlier processed, staged and uploaded the 2nd IBCT on its way to the training center in December and January.
Traffic management specialist John Manahane headed up the operation for 599th terminals section.
“Everyone there displayed a great team effort to its maximum extent,” said Manahane. “It’s important to highlight the joint effort that was ongoing throughout the exercise, from the personnel at Navy’s Fleet Logistic Center (FLC) Pearl Harbor, to the Navy cargo handling battalion, to subordinate battalions, to Soldiers and civilians from the 599th and the 25th Infantry Division. This time our deployment and distribution management team (DDMT) was made up of elements from all battalions and led by the 836th battalion commander, Lt. Col. Clydea Prichard Brown.”
“The 836th Transportation Battalion was honored to be mission command for this high-visibility and important move,” said Prichard-Brown. “It was a great opportunity to employ our Total Force Integration concept and work with different branches of service, civilian, military, and with the Reserves and active duty.
“In addition to 599th headquarters, FLC-Pearl Harbor, and the Navy Cargo Handling Battalion, who are all always outstanding to work with, personnel from the 18th Transportation Detachment’s Movement Control Team, who assisted with cargo documentation, were a big factor in our success during this move,” she added. “They are able to scan equipment on the ship and in staging areas, which greatly speeded up the process.”
“The move went very well,” Manahane said. “We achieved our objective in completing the operation in 48 hours. Although we encountered the usual challenges with ships operations, deadlined equipment and shortages of specialized drivers, when we relayed the problems to the services’ port support activities (PSAs), they increased the number of drivers and mechanics.
“The mechanics and PSAs were outstanding on deck,” Manahane added. “They would identify equipment that needed attention and got it fixed and running.”
As with the JRTC deployment upload in January, 599th again stood up a tactical operations center (TOC) at Pearl Harbor to practice handling offload of cargo as if it were in a field environment.
“We want to be able to set up full operational capability very quickly,” said Larry Stephens, 599th deputy to the commander. “We have to make sure operations in the future employ those capabilities to support the commanding general’s ‘fight tonight’ vision. We had some employment gaps in the beginning, but were able to catch up.”
Clayton Maciorowski, information technology specialist, worked day shift at the TOC for the 599th information management section.
“From an IT perspective, this was similar to the JRTC upload,” Maciorowski said. “We had 24-hour coverage at both the TOC and at FLC. For communications, we used both our 599th Brigade Standard Communications Package and Standard Communications Package One from Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, which has a larger satellite dish.”
The move began at 1 p.m. on April 4, and the last piece of cargo was discharged at 3:05 p.m. on April 6.