NEWS | June 18, 2019

599th Transportation Brigade Partners Upload Ocean Jazz for Pacific Pathways

By Donna Klapakis SDDC

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- 599th Transportation Brigade personnel teamed with Fleet Logistics Center; U.S. Coast Guard; 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division; Hawaii Stevedore, Inc.; and Military Sealift Command personnel June 7-9 at both Fleet Logistics Center and Naval Magazine here to facilitate upload of 2/25 IBCT cargo and equipment bound for Pacific Pathways exercises.

Because of safety concerns, when the M/V Ocean Jazz arrived from Washington state on the morning of June 7, it first had to offload ammunition at NAVMAG before it could come into to FLC for upload of the bulk of the cargo and equipment.

"The ammunition had to be offloaded at NAVMAG before coming to FLC because ammunition is not allowed on ships at FLC," said Carlos Tibbetts, 599th terminal operations chief. "The port is not certified for any ammo whatsoever, not even small arms ammunition.

"Once the ammunition was on the pier at NAVMAG, the 25th Infantry
Division had to station armed guards on the pier in 24-hour rotating shifts until it was reloaded at the end of the operation," he added.

After they offloaded the ammunition at NAVMAG, the ship sailed to FLC. The safety briefing was conducted at 6:30 p.m., and the upload of remaining cargo began at 8:40 p.m., said Davey Flores, 599th traffic management specialist.

The Ocean Jazz is a lift-on, lift-off vessel. While it does have a cargo ramp, it is directly in the stern of the ship, so cannot be used for operations at either port here.

Hawaii Stevedores, Inc. employees stowed the cargo and lashed it down according to the stow plan, while 599th personnel assisted FLC-PH personnel in counting and recording the cargo arriving on the ship by hand.

"HSI provided two gangs at night, but then only one showed up for the morning shift on Saturday," said Tibbetts. "That slowed down port ops during the day."

After the stevedores finished uploading all cargo from the pier at FLC, the Ocean Jazz returned to NAVMAG to reload the containers before it could resume its journey across the Pacific.

"The last piece of unit cargo was loaded at 4:24 p.m. on June 8 at FLC, and the Ocean Jazz departed FLC at 8 a.m. on June 9 to return to NAVMAG for loading ammunition," said Flores.

"The Ocean Jazz arrived at NAVMAG at 9:30 a.m. on June 9," said Flores.

"We handled the explosive event waiver and coordinated with the Coast Guard," said Tibbetts. "The Coast Guard is in charge of certifying the cargo as safe to load."

Once ship's personnel lowered the gangway, Coastguardsmen were the first to board.

Coastguardsmen were on hand at both the offload and upload of the ammunition to approve of the safe storage for the ammunition.

"We are out in the public for a lot of our missions, but not many people know about the Coast Guard's role in certifying ammunition," said USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Bret Reel.

Members of the 2/25 IBCT also acted as line handlers at NAVMAG during the upload on June 9.

"We got outstanding support from 25th ID in working with USCG personnel on the explosive event waiver," Tibbetts said. "USCG personnel also provided excellent support and technical guidance on what can and can't be done.

"We look forward to working with 25th ID and the USCG in the future. They were true professionals," he added.

Once all the ammunition was loaded at NAVMAG, the Ocean Jazz departed at 2:35 p.m., said Flores.