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New unit flag signals changes in MTMC port structure.

A new flag is flying over the Military Traffic Management Command port that handles freight cargoes in the Greater New York-New Jersey area.

The flag of the 956th Transportation Co. now represents the MTMC unit at Fort Monmouth, N.J. the flag of the 842nd Transportation Battalion was lowered Aug. 24.

Previously, the 956th flag was flown in Anchorage, Alaska. That company was inactiviated earlier in the summer. Meanwhile, the 842nd flag will fly again--becoming the new namesake of the 596th Transportation Group, Beaumont, Texas.

The changes date from the work of the Battalion Evaluation Group in 1999. Four port commanders suggested changes to standardize MTMC units and to reflect current workloads.

Transitioning of the unit via changes in the military and civilian staffing did not wait for Maj. Mike Cashner to assume command. Gradually, the unit has been moving from a staff of 34 to a staff of 17. At this point, most affected civilians are in new positions in the unit--or in other jobs through the Priority Placement Program. Most affected military members are on orders to new assignments.

Operations Officer Capt. Erik Hilberg is headed for the transportation advanced course in October. Hilberg will not be replaced.

"This is my normal rotation time," said Hilberg.

The same is not true for Sgt. 1st Class James Van Emburgh, Cargo Operations NCO. The new organization eliminates his job, however, it creates a Traffic Management Coordinator.

"My three-year tour is being cut to two years," said Van Emburgh, who hopes to get a new assignment at the MTMC Operations Center, Fort Eustis, Va.

What does he remember most about shipping cargoes from the Howland Hook Container Port at Staten Island, N.Y.?

"There is a lot of patriotism in the support we get," said Van Emburgh. "The civilian community opens up to us."

Changes are coming to Cheryl Gannon again. Several years ago, she ran a 72-member section of traffic management specialists at Bayonne.

It got smaller in the move to Fort Monmouth in April 1998. Now, in the new Fort Monmouth organization, she will supervise 15.

"Things are changing," said Gannon. "For me, it's the same job and the same title."

For RoseMarie Bond, changes in the Fort Monmouth unit mean goodbye to many friends.

"It is hard," said Bond. "We're losing a lot of experience and friends I've known for 20 years."

Bond will have the same work duties in the new unit structure. She will have several added duties, including ocean carrier government bills of lading and military deployments."

A week ago, she watched equipment of the 29th Infantry Division loaded on the Express for Slovenia--and, eventually, Bosnia.

"I liked it," said Bond.

Lucille Fonsville's service dates to the 600th Transportation Group, at Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne.

"I'm going from traffic management to operations," said Fonsville. "I don't have a problem with it."

There are several changes awaiting Fonsville.

Physically, she will move from the second floor to the first floor of the unit's Fort Monmouth headquarters building. This fall, she will receive schooling on the new assignment. Fonsville will attend classes at the Army Transportation School, Fort Eustis, Va., on shiploading, hazardous materials and computerized stow plans.

Job titles will change for David Kottka--but not the work.

"The duty remains the same," said Kottka, who began government work in Bayonne in 1981. "I will be staying in cargo operations."

Kottka, a traffic management specialist, will become a transportation operations specialist.
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Title Annotation:Military Traffic Management Command
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Previous Article:Summertime brings new commanders to MTMC.
Next Article:Beaumont terminal works under new unit colors.

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