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NEWS | Jan. 14, 2014

597th Transportation Brigade commander visits JB Charleston

By Senior Airman Ashlee Galloway Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Army Col. Jason Vick, 597th Transportation Brigade commander, visited the 841st Transportation Battalion Jan. 7, 2014, at Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station, S.C. During his visit, Vick also met with Col. Jeffery DeVore, Joint Base Charleston commander and toured the Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston on the Weapons Station.

The 841st Transportation Battalion's mission is to deploy and conduct surface deployment and redeployment distribution and water terminal operations to support and sustain the warfighter.

As the commander of the 597th Transportation Brigade, home stationed at Joint Base Langley - Eustess, Va., Vick overseas four geographically separated units including the 841st Transportation Battalion.

"I came to see the 841st Transportation Battalion during my command visit, which falls under the Surface Distribution and Deployment Command and is located here at Charleston," said Vick. "I came to see my units, my Soldiers and civilians as they're doing this operation. It takes a lot of work and a lot of coordination from both our team and the civilian contractors out here."

During his visit, Vick was able to witness the discharge of the Army Prepositioned Stock Vessel USNS Pomeroy. The vessel contains sustainment brigade sets which can include, among other things, fuel tankers, fork-lifts, wreckers, cargo containers, rough terrain container handlers and ammunition.

"In the APS-3 mission, the 841st will take a given amount of warfighting equipment and supplies and load it onto a ship. These prepositioned ships will then take that equipment to float at sea for 18 to 36 months near potential hotspots until it is needed by the warfighter," said Army Lt. Col. Brian Memoli, 841st Transportation Battalion commander.

This year, the 841st Transportation Battalion is slated to receive four Army Prepositioned Stock Vessels.

"The reason the ships come here is because ASLAC is in Charleston," said Memoli. "Each shipment will contain roughly 1,400 pieces of cargo, and we, as the 841st, will load and discharge all cargo in 10 days to two weeks. While the cargo is here at port, ASLAC will repair and reset the equipment before it is loaded to go back out at sea."

The 841st has a workforce of about 60 military, reservists and civilians. At the 841st Transportation Battalion they give full wide support for cargo coming into the United States.

"There is never a dull day for the 841st Transportation Battalion," said Memoli.

There are various Army Prepositioned Stock sites worldwide. The prepositioned sets consists of equipment configured into mission-driven sets and are positioned ashore and afloat to reduce deployment response times.

"The APS-3 site is the only one that is afloat; all the other sites are land-based," said Memoli.

The 841st Transportation Battalion is responsible for all Department of Defense cargo on commercial vessels along the Atlantic coast from the port of Savannah, Ga. to Maine.

"There is a great partnership out here," said Vick. "You can see the Coast Guard with their vessels providing force protection, you have ASLAC here repairing the equipment and getting it ready to go back out to sea, and you have a lot of joint partners that make this operation possible.

It is a dangerous operation that requires a lot of safety precautions to do this job in an efficient and effective manner, and these guys are out here doing a great job."