NEWS | Nov. 15, 2017

599th, Joint Services Offload 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Cargo

By Mrs. Donna Klapakis (SDDC)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- The 599th Transportation Brigade and partners discharged 25th Combat Aviation Brigade cargo and equipment from the M/V Ocean Jazz in support of Operation Pacific Pathways 17-2/3 here from Oct. 29-31.

Transporters unloaded the cargo during 24-hour-a-day operations. The ship arrived at 9:33 p.m., and offload began at 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 29.

Sgt. Vincent Washington, 599th terminal operations noncommissioned officer, worked the night shift.

"I worked from 6 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. both Oct. 29 and 30. We helped the Navy Cargo Handling Battalion break the lashings the first night, and both nights we monitored the teams. Mr. [Davey] Flores showed me where the hook-ups were on all of the equipment, and how the hooks had to be emplaced on the equipment for lift, so we could monitor the movement."

Davey Flores, 599th marine cargo specialist, also worked night shift.

"The Navy cargo handling battalions had two gangs, one at the superstructure where the vehicles were stowed, and one working with the containers on the aft part of the ship," Flores said. "They had two crane operators at night, so both cranes could offload simultaneously.

"The operation was slow, but with port operations, slow is best. Deliberate is good," he added.

Washington agreed.

"The operation was slow but smooth," he said. "No injuries and no accidents: that was the most important part. They brought in extra lights from the crane and the pier, so we could see very well to work at night."

Partners for the discharge operation included the 836th Transportation Battalion and Guam Detachment terminal management team, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fleet Logistics Center-Pearl Harbor, Navy Cargo Handling Battalion personnel, Military Sealift Command, and the ship's crew.

"This is a great example of how these missions show a total force integration of active and reserve, as well as sister services supporting operational mission sets," said Casey Carr, 599th deputy to the commander.

Navy Lt. Andrew Brown, was officer-in-charge of cargo handling battalion personnel.

"We have elements of both West and East Coast cargo handling battalions here," Brown said. "NCBH-1 is active duty, while NCBH-5, NCBH-8, NCBH-10, and NCBH-14 are reserves. NCHB-10, from Yorktown, Virginia, is the lead battalion."

"This was a great operation," he added. "Members of the team got a lot of good experience in cargo handling. Every one of these guys rogered up and took care of business. I rely heavily on the chiefs to help with operations. They are an invaluable source. They are the ones who drive the operation."

Warrant Officer 1 Khadijah Garner, 25th CAB mobility warrant officer, has been a transporter for 15 years. She became a warrant officer in May 2016 and graduated from her basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia, in November 2016.

"My first major move was when we uploaded the Ocean Jazz at the beginning of Pacific Pathways 17-2/3 in June," said Garner. "During that move, I learned that being successful starts with the pre-deployment activities. We want our cargo accepted when it gets to the port, and don't want any issues with dimensions, data, weight or paperwork. When we get to the port we want to be able to put it on the ship.

"Since June, we've had a lot of missions, and over the past few months, I've built up a relationship with the people in SDDC, here at FLC, and those at the planning conferences, so I know who to call when I need to. I've also learned what is expected of us as well as what we can expect from the people here who support us."

Christopher Hill, the captain of the Ocean Jazz, has been in the Merchant Marine for 20 years and a vessel master since 2007.

"The support we get from Military Sealift Command and Surface Deployment and Distribution Command is overwhelming," Hill said. "No matter where we are, or how small the port is, people go the extra mile to make sure we succeed. Plus, we get to do something to help Uncle Sam. We have a good feeling when we go to bed at night knowing that we're helping something bigger than ourselves."

David Carmody, MSC marine transportation specialist, made sure the Ocean Jazz had what it needed here.

"We provide MSC support for the ships," Carmody said. "I am a liaison between vessel operations, the port, and the integral link between the ship and the cargo operation. For a ship like the Ocean Jazz, they can't use the supply system because it isn't a military ship, so I have to get clearance for their contractors to come on base or for a fuel supply barge to come alongside."

Flores said the overall operation was a success.

"The entire operation was a well-organized team effort with our joint brothers and sisters of the military," he said. "We had the Navy's cargo handing battalions and the Army aviation brigade, our total Army workforce including military and civilians and Navy FLC."

The last piece was offloaded at 11:50 a.m., and the vessel departed at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.