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Indonesian, US militaries join forces to deploy cargo to Lebanon.

Indonesia's army teamed up with forces from the US Navy, Air Force, and Army to deploy peacekeeping cargo for duty in Lebanon. Beginning November 2, about 200 pieces of equipment, painted bright white with UN markings, were loaded aboard SS Wilson, a US-flagged ship chartered for the mission by the MSC. Later in the month, 850 Indonesian troops flew to Lebanon to meet up with their equipment and join the UN's Interim Force in Lebanon.

According to Wilson's civilian mariner master, Capt. Paul James Mallory, the ship was making a routine port visit for supplies in Cape Town, South Africa, when it received the call to head to Jakarta. Mallory, who has served as master since 1997, said the ship is used routinely to transport military cargo. This was not the ship's first visit to Jakarta. The ship visited the port in both 2003 and 2005 to deliver bulk rice for the UNs' World Food Program. "While the news came as a surprise to the crew, we are honored to support such an important mission," Mallory said.

Indonesia will join 20 other nations supporting the UN in Lebanon and is expected to remain in Lebanon for up to one year.

Russian-built BTR-80A armored personnel carriers as well as 5-ton trucks, trailers, patrol vehicles, ambulances, construction equipment, water tanks, and shipping containers containing various supplies were loaded aboard Wilson in around-the-clock cargo operations at the Tanjug Priok port just outside of Jakarta. The ship got underway for Lebanon on November 4.

Personnel from the SDDC, under the command of Army Lt. Col. Colice Powell, performed the advance planning with the Indonesian army. "We worked with the Indonesian army for several weeks to coordinate the arrival of cargo at the port as well as to develop a plan to load it aboard the vessel," Powell said.

The ship arrived at Tanjug Priok in the early hours of November 2, and shipboard cranes began hoisting cargo aboard at 10am that day. Wilson is a break-bulk vessel belonging to Sealift, Inc., of Long Island, New York. The ship is used solely by the US government and most recently delivered grain to Mombasa, Kenya, for the US Agency for International Development.



Some cargo, including trucks, a water purification system, an electrical generator, a land cruiser, and shipping containers will be sent by aircraft to Lebanon. Personnel from the USAF's Third Logistics Readiness Squadron, based out of Elmendorf AFB in Alaska, were also on site to work with Indonesian forces to develop a plan to load the cargo aboard a Russian-built Antanov 124 aircraft. The aircraft was contracted by the US Air Force's AMC.

As of this printing, the 185-meter, 32,000-ton SS Wilson has made the 5690 mile mission to Beirut. Mission Accomplished!
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Title Annotation:GOVERNMENT NEWS*
Publication:Defense Transportation Journal
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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