Military News

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Army, Air Force team up to move gear to JRTC

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera
JBER Public Affairs


1/7/2016 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaskan -- When the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division is tasked to participate at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, the 773d Logistics Readiness Squadron Deployment Flight, is there to lend a helping hand.

The 773d LRS deployment flight remains an Air Force asset until a unit deploys; then they become a joint service asset known as a Movement Control Center. The MCC transports mission-critical cargo for all services to its final destination.

"The MCC's goal is to meet the 4/25's mission requirement in a timely manner," said John Kim, 773d LRS mobility officer. "We have a wide range of equipment that we can ship such as a Humvee, a howitzer or any other mission requirement."

In order for the MCC to move cargo, units have to provide a list of equipment through the Transportation Coordinator Automated Information Management System for inspection. Once this is complete, the cargo and containers will be inspected.

"The Coast Guard also comes to assist with the inspection," Kim said. "If there's any hazardous materials such as fuel cans, generators or anything with chemicals, the Coast Guard will come and inspect the container."

Safety is the main concern during movement, Kim said.

While the MCC has a 100 percent success rate on safety, the extreme weather here in Alaska presents a challenge.

With equipment exposed to such a harsh environment, some don't survive Mother Nature.

"When we send an initial deployment list through Surface Deployment and Distribution Center, they will start booking with the list we provided. Here at JBER, there are a lot more changes from the original list to the actual unit deployment list," Kim said. "Because of the weather, equipment can be deemed non-mission capable.

"When a vehicle would not start, it has to either be changed or removed to have accurate accountability of equipment. So it delays the operation if we are not careful. But due to the diligence of multiple agencies working together, we are able to meet the mission requirement with minimal delays."

When everything is inspected and accounted for, the cargo movement teams take over to get it shipped out through the Port of Anchorage.

The cargo movement teams are mostly responsible for moving day-to-day Air Force and Army cargo - unless they are activated through the MCC to help ship equipment to a deployed location.

Then they work side-by-side with the MCC until the last cargo has been loaded onto the dock.

As a cargo movement chief, Air Force Master Sgt. Omar CortesAponteCabrera said their sections are the liaison between the Army, Air Force and SDDC.

"They [SDDC] do the booking for us for all the cargo," said the 21-year veteran. "We have all the cargo process through here and get the booking from the SDDC. Then we match the information, inspect it and move it to the port."

Before leaving the MCC location, the cargo movement personnel conduct a cargo line check to make sure everything has the correct paperwork.

If there's missing paperwork or something was not booked, it has to stay at JBER; it will not be accepted at the Port of Anchorage.

Upon arrival at the port, the staff [cargo movement] will conduct a final inspection against the information in the documents to ensure 100-percent-accurate accountability.

CortesAponteCabrera said he can't stress enough that cargo does not move without logistics. He takes pride in his unit's skills, compliance and teamwork to make the mission successful.

"We have our warfighter skills by preparing, deploying or redeploying JBER's capabilities to any location. We cannot move cargo if they are not in compliance, so it is imperative we have the correct paperwork, accurate dimensions and weight," he said. "We also work as a team supporting other agencies involved with any cargo movement, so when we get activated to support a real-world deployment or mission, we are ready."

If a unit requires a cargo movement, the MCC is there to provide a helping hand.

The MCC was able to process more than 600 pieces in three weeks in preparation for JRTC.

Technical Sgt. Jesse Daughtry, 773d LRS cargo movement non-commissioned officer in charge, said that his first experience with the JRTC movement was a learning experience because they were able to show a joint effort supporting the Army and showing their capabilities.

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