NEWS | April 15, 2019

599th Transportation Brigade Supports Army, Marine Corps at Pearl Harbor

By Mrs. Donna Klapakis SDDC

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- 599th Transportation Brigade and its partners completed two separate moves, an offload for the Army and an upload for the Marine Corps, on the Motor Vessel Green Lake here March 29-30.

599th traffic management specialist Jimmy Quilon was the contracting officer representative for the offload of 2/6 Helicopter Attack Reconnaissance Squadron on March 29.

"The nighttime move on March 29 was a liner move under a universal service contract, and the move the next day, even though it was the same ship, was an MSC charter," Quilon said.

"The COR needs to be at the port to provide oversight, to answer any questions that arise, and to ensure there's no interference with vessel operations."

Quilon said the offload went smoothly.

"Captain Francis Nazareth runs his crew very well," he said. "They provided all the operations support where we needed them.

"It went fast and safely. It was done in three hours," he added. "I was also happy to see that all the Soldiers had their protective gear."

Although everything was relatively fast, Quilon said a tweak in the operation on-ship could have gained efficiency.

"I think they could have utilized our army aviation crew to move helicopters by hand in the hold to make it easier for the tug operator to hook up and get them off the ship," he said.

The next morning, the second operation began as Marine Rotational Force started to upload their helicopters and equipment.

Carlos Tibbetts, 599th terminal operations chief, worked onboard the Green Lake during the upload on March 30.

"The move went very smoothly," he said. "I heard that Friday night went extra well. So the next day we were able to start up and finish quickly."

Francis Nazareth, Central Gulf Lines vice president for operations, was again working the move on behalf of the carrier.

"The Marines were using boards and pads to keep from damaging the skids on the end of the aircraft, but midway through, they began riding on the front of the helicopters to counter-balance them," Nazareth said. "This put less weight on the back skid, so they could just walk up while lifting the rear rather than running back and forth to the front and back."

"Three of the 599th NCOs were down at the port working, and the Marines were acting as duty stevedores," Tibbetts said.

Sgt. Deontre Austin, 599th surface operations center NCO, worked the upload. He said he appreciated the chance to work at the port.

"This was the first time besides my training missions that I was able to work a vessel upload. It was different than training missions. It was better because this was not practice. This was no-fail type of thing.

"I came to the 599th to work ports. I want to work at the port," he added.

However, it was far from Austin's first time loading cargo.

"Since I've been in the army I've worked planes, trains and a lot of trucks," he said. "Now I'm able to work vessels. I'm an 88 Hotel [cargo specialist], so that's my job.

"Everyone worked well out there together," he added. "We had good teamwork and good communications between all of us on the ship. When we needed lashers, the Marines were right there to lash the cargo."

Staff Sgt. Andre Carroll, operations NCO, agreed that cooperation amongst services played a big part in the successful upload.

"There was no difference between working with the Marines and the Army at the port," he said. "I always just let the person in charge know what we need, and we get it."

Austin also appreciated the chance to see real-world hazardous material upload.

"I am HAZMAT qualified, so it was interesting to me how they strategically loaded the HAZMAT containers so that in case of an emergency they can take them off quickly," he said.

"We got the move done as quickly and safely as possible," Carroll said. "The operation began on March 30 at 7 a.m. and ended at 2:30 p.m."