Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,725,466 articles and books

Restructuring for simultaneous movement control operations.

Across the Army, virtually every command is expected to be able to handle several missions simultaneously. As an example of its multitasking capability, the Army is fighting the Global War on Terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act  and, at the same time, it is transforming strategically.

In March 2005, the Vicenza, Italy-based Southern European Task Force (SETAF SETAF Southern European Task Force (Airborne; US Army) ) transitioned from a peacetime Army organization to one that commanded joint combat operations in Afghanistan. To support Operation Enduring Freedom, SETAF required the services of the only movement control battalion (MCB (Memory Control Block) An identifier (16 bytes) that DOS places in front of each block of memory it allocates. ) in Italy--the 14th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control), or 14th MCB, a subordinate element of U.S. Army Europe's (USAREUR's) 21st Theater Support Command (TSC TSC (stock symbol)
TSC Time Stamp Counter
TSC Tuberous Sclerosis Complex
TSC Tractor Supply Company
TSC Terrorist Screening Center (Department of Homeland Security) 

Major General Bennie E. Williams, commander of the 21st TSC, commenting on the need to deploy the 14th MCB in support of SETAF, said "Split operations are ... necessary and becoming the norm, and I have full confidence that the 14th can support the SETAF downrange down¬∑range ¬†
adv. & adj.
In a direction away from the launch site and along the flight line of a missile test range: landed a thousand miles downrange; the downrange target area. 
 while continuing its vital movement missions in Italy." Thus, to prepare for the additional mission, the 14th MCB restructured, reshaped, and retrained its battalion headquarters in order to provide support simultaneously to the U.S. European Command (EUCOM EUCOM European Command (USEUCOM)
EUCOM European Union Forces
) and the U.S. Central Command.


The deployment of SETAF and the 14th MCB to Afghanistan for a year expanded the battalion's mission set dramatically. ["Mission set" refers to a unit's mission parameters, which are based on the unit's mission-essential task list.] Split operations required an immediate change in the organizational structure of the MCB's headquarters.

This was not the first time the 14th MCB had restructured its headquarters. In the summer of 2003, the battalion transitioned its headquarters to meet difficult mission requirements in support of Joint Task Force (JTF JTF Joint Task Force
JTF Just the Facts
JTF Jewish Task Force
JTF Jitter Transfer Function
JTF Joint Tactical Force
JTF Joint Tactical Fusion
JTF Janasaviya Trust Fund (Sri Lanka)
JTF Joint Test Facility
) Liberia--an unprecedented mission to provide support to West African West Africa

A region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea. It was largely controlled by colonial powers until the 20th century.

West African adj. & n.
 military forces conducting peace support operations in Liberia in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis A humanitarian crisis (or "humanitarian disaster") is an event or series of events which represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area. . From late July through September of that year, the 14th MCB's headquarters transformed from an Army MCB to a JTF joint movement control center in order to support SETAF. Drawing from the battalion's experiences during the Liberia crisis, the battalion staff was able to plan split operations in Afghanistan and southern Europe.

A close peacetime relationship with SETAF paid big dividends for the 14th MCB when the time came to deploy with the task force. "We were fortunate because of our integration with SETAF during peacetime day-to-day operations, training exercises, and other real-world contingencies," said Major Thomas Nelson, the 14th's S-2/3. "It paid off for us when it really counted, making ... [restructuring] for future operations smoother. Critical relationships with our [Operation Enduring Freedom] command were already established."

The 14th MCB is traditionally subordinate to the 21st TSC. Its brigade-level higher headquarters is the 1st Theater Movement Control Agency, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. However, reorganizing the MCB's headquarters for split operations created a dual command and control structure (see chart below) in which the 14th's forward headquarters element was subordinate to Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF CJTF combined joint task force (NATO)
CJTF Commander, Joint Task Force
CJTF Coalition Joint Task Force
) 76 while its rear element continued the traditional command and control structure. The chart at the top of page 14 shows the battalion's mission set before and after restructuring in preparation for deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom. Note how the number of MCB missions increased from two to seven.



Restructuring the 14th MCB headquarters naturally led to its reshaping. This reshaping consisted of five personnel actions--

* Expanding the duties of the GS-12 traffic manager so he would serve as both battalion traffic manager and battalion S-2/3 in place of the major who would deploy.

* Hiring 11 temporary Department of the Army (DA) civilians and local nationals for 1- to 4-year appointments to assume the workloads of soldiers who would deploy.

* Incorporating soldiers from a local Army Reserve unit, the 663d Movement Control Team (MCT See Microsoft certification. ), based in Vicenza, into the battalion's S-2/3 operations.

* Standing up a rear detachment and designating its commander.

* Providing the SETAF J-4 an interim JTF joint transportation officer (JTO JTO Junior Telecom Officer
JTO JOPES Training Organization
JTO Joint Transportation Office
JTO Joint Technical Operations
) for a 90-day period in support of CJTF 76 deployment preparations.

The final two positions were filled by the same 14th MCB officer (a major).

Providing the SETAF J-4 with an interim JTF JTO limited the operational capability of the MCB headquarters for 90 days, but it had a positive effect on the overall CJTF 76 deployment. The JTO's most notable accomplishments were--

* Serving as the 21st TSC lead for CJTF 76 deployment.

* Posturing SETAF for successful deployment.

* Ensuring that the JTO was fully manned, operational, and functioning.

* Publishing USAREUR's Southern Region plan for deployment to Afghanistan.

The predeployment MCB headquarters organization, depicted on the chart below, shows the traditional MCB structure by duty position and grade. The postdeployment rear organization, indicated on the chart at the top of page 15, details the changes in structure brought about by reshaping. Nine DA civilian positions (highlighted in yellow) and two local national employee positions (highlighted in red) were created to fill vacancies created when the soldiers occupying them deployed. The incumbents of the three positions highlighted in green were to "dual-hat," or perform two key jobs instead of one.

The postdeployment forward organization chart at the bottom of page 15 reflects the design of the battalion headquarters when deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.



In order for the headquarters restructuring and reshaping to be successful, four personnel had to be retrained. The 14th MCB established a comprehensive professional development program in which the senior traffic manager, temporary DA civilian and local national employees, Reserve component soldiers, and a rear detachment commander would be trained to perform their new duties. This retraining program consisted of extensive on-the-job and institutional training.

Senior traffic manager. Soon after the battalion headquarters received a deployment notification, the commander decided to expand the senior traffic manager's job description to include both traffic manager and battalion S-2/3 functions. The major serving as the S-2/3 was deploying, and his departure would leave a huge staff void and a training challenge. However, rigorous on-the-job training by the traffic manager and expansion of his job description to incorporate the new S- 2/3 duties proved both timely and effective.

Civilian employees. Army-sponsored institutional training and on-the-job training with their battalion counterparts ensured a seamless transition and integration of the temporary DA civilian and local national personnel. However, hiring was restricted by both the availability of quality applicants, especially in an overseas setting, and the complexity of the civilian employee hiring systems.

Reserve component soldiers. Up to five Reserve component soldiers from the 663d MCT were integrated into the 14th MCB S-2/3 operations section for up to 6 months during critical periods. Incorporating these soldiers into current operations proved vital to the battalion's overall success. On-the-job training with Active component soldiers ensured continuity and mission accomplishment.

Rear detachment commander.

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

United States Army, Europe
 training requirements, deploying units must have a rear detachment and a rear detachment commander. The battalion selected a major to serve as rear detachment commander and sent him to the 5-day, USAREUR-sponsored Rear Detachment Commanders Course at Vilseck, Germany.

Predeployment initiatives that the 14th MCB put into effect served the battalion well when it deployed to the Afghanistan theater of operations Noun 1. theater of operations - a region in which active military operations are in progress; "the army was in the field awaiting action"; "he served in the Vietnam theater for three years"
field of operations, theatre of operations, theater, theatre, field
 in late March. The lessons learned can be useful to other movement control elements that are tapped to perform multiple missions over great distances. It goes without saying that these changes require the full support of the unit's chain of command, as well as the necessary funding to hire temporary civilian replacements, in order to keep operations flowing smoothly and without interruption. The flexibility granted to the 14th MCB by both SETAF and the 21st TSC allowed the battalion to rise successfully to the immense challenge of managing operations in two widely separated regions of the world.


LIEUTENANT COLONEL CHARLES R. BROWN, A TRANSPORTATION CORPS OFFICER, IS THE COMMANDER OF THE 14TH TRANSPORTATION BATTALION (MOVEMENT CONTROL) IN VICENZA, ITALY. THE BATTALION CURRENTLY 15 DEPLOYED TO AFGHANISTAN TO SUPPORT COMBINED JOINT TASK FORCE 76. HE HAS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN MANAGEMENT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA-WILMINGTON AND A MASTER'S DEGREE IN ADMINISTRATION FROM CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY Central Michigan University, at Mount Pleasant, Mich.; coeducational; est. 1892 as a normal school, became Central State Teachers College in 1927, achieved university status in 1959. The university maintains a forest that is used for botanical and biological research. . HE IS A GRADUATE OF THE ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE The Command and General Staff College (C&GSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is a United States Army facility that functions as a graduate school for U.S. military leaders. It was originally established in 1881 as a school for infantry and cavalry. .
14th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control) Mission

Before Restructuring                 After Restructuring

* Provide movement control and       * Provide movement control and
  traffic management support to        traffic management support to
  U.S. forces and Department of        U.S. forces and DOD activities
  Defense (DOD) activities             throughout EUCOM's Southern
  throughout U.S. European             Region, including Italy, Africa,
  Command's (EUCOM's) Southern         and the Balkans.
  Region, including Italy, Africa,
  and the Balkans.                   * Provide trained and deployable
                                       MCB HQ and MCTs to supported
* Provide trained and deployable       combatant commanders.
  movement control battalion (MCB)
  headquarters (HQ) and movement     * Deploy Southern European Task
  control teams (MCTs) to              Force (SETAF) to Operation
  supported combatant commanders.      Enduring Freedom (OFF).

                                     * Deploy 14th MCB HQ to OEF.

                                     * Provide Combined Joint Task
                                       Force 76 interim joint
                                       transportation officer to
                                       SETAF J-4.

                                     * Establish rear detachment.

                                     * Receive, reintegrate, and
                                       retrain MCTs from Operation
                                       Iraqi Freedom.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Brown, Charles R.
Publication:Army Logistician
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Previous Article:Saber FLE in Iraq: the 1st Infantry Division Support Command had to support a cavalry squadron located far from its usual support battalion. The...
Next Article:TCAM: making the class VIII system work for your brigade combat team.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters