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NEWS | Nov. 21, 2016

Conference highlights JB Charleston’s airlift, surface, sealift capabilities

By Airman Megan Munoz Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force General Darren W. McDew, U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) commander, hosted a USTRANSCOM Component Commanders Conference here Nov. 14-16.


The Component Commanders Conference brought together leaders from Air Mobility Command, Military Sealift Command, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command and the Joint Transportation Reserve Unit.


“U.S. Transportation Command has the mission of providing worldwide, global transportation for all Department of Defense assets,” said McDew. “We have a number of Component Commanders Conferences per year where I try to achieve alignment (between the major commands). The service-level components and their commanders get together with me and my staff to talk about the things common to all of them to identify challenges I need to address as their combatant commander.”


USTRANSCOM is a unified, functional combatant command which provides support to the eight other U.S. combatant commands, military services, defense agencies and other government organizations. Joint Base Charleston is an important asset to USTRANSCOM because of its ability to move cargo by three modes of transportation.


"It was an honor to host the Transportation Command Component Commanders Conference this year. Joint Base Charleston is unique in that the installation provides air, surface and sealift capabilities that support USTRANSCOM strategic mobility operations worldwide,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Lyman, Joint Base Charleston commander. “During this visit, we were proud to showcase the many aspects of Joint Base Charleston which support the Department of Defense's transportation footprint."


During the conference, McDew and the other attendees visited the JB Charleston-Weapons Station for a sealift capabilities demonstration and to see the day-to-day mission of the 841st Transportation Battalion (Trans. Bn.).

"The 841st Trans. Bn. is a key player because we were strategically placed by the USTRANSCOM commander. We are the port managers for several seaports on the east coast," said Lt. Col. Dennis Major, 841st Trans. Bn. commander.

The ports managed by the 841st Trans. Bn. include Philadelphia, Wilmington, Savannah and here, said Major. 


As part of the conference, members of the 833rd Trans. Bn., based out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, traveled to Charleston to lead a sealift capabilities demonstration for attendees to view.


“In support of the TRANSCOM Component Commanders Conference, we set up our Joint Task Force Port Opening for a Seaport of Debarkation,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Stacy M. Tomic,  833rd Trans. Bn. commander. “We were able to show elements of the command control, mission control and cargo management center. We demonstrated how we track transit visibility for port operations and how we get equipment off the vessel, stage it and move it for the customer and the Joint Task Force.”


The 437th Airlift Wing (AW) is another JB Charleston asset contributing to the USTRANSCOM mission. C-17s provide USTRANSCOM the capability of direct delivery of cargo to any austere runway environment in the world. 


“The 437th Airlift Wing strives to be the airlift wing of choice for the nation,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jeffrey Nelson, 437th AW vice commander. “The 437th Airlift Wing is the busiest C-17A wing in Air Mobility Command, executing 29 percent of AMC’s workload. Our team provides unrivaled mobility excellence, leveraging 48 assigned aircraft to support worldwide operations.”


Participants from the Component Commanders Conference also got a firsthand look at what the 437th Airlift Wing provides to the USTRANSCOM mission. The participants flew in a C-17 to the North Auxiliary Airfield in the town of North, South Carolina. During the flight, the crew dropped cargo and performed an assault landing before returning to Charleston.


“I want to say thank you to Joint Base Charleston,” said McDew. “It was an amazing conference. I’m always impressed by the service members who call Charleston home and the community that provides amazing hospitality.”