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New unit signals greater SDDC deployment role in Southwest Asia.

A greater Military Surface Deployment and Distribution role in Southwest Asia is beginning to be formalized.

SDDC is forming a new group headquarters in Kuwait: the 595th Transportation Terminal Group (Provisional), effective Oct. 1. at Camp Spearhead, near the port of Ash Shuaiba.

The group will greatly enhance SDDC command and control in the busy U.S. Central Command area of operations. Since the War on Terrorism began, Soldiers and civilians detailed from the 598th Transportation Group, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, have boosted SDDC's presence in the area of operations.

In the last few months, port and container management operations in Iraq, Kuwait, and other Persian Gulf countries has been performed by an ad hoc unit known as SDDC Southwest Asia from the 599th Transportation Group, Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii. It is mainly composed of 599th members and attached Reservists.

"We need to establish better continuity with the Warfighter, host nation authorities, and our commercial carriers operating in the region," said Col. Tom Harvey, 599th commander. "If ever an expansion in container management and in transit visibility was needed it is now and at this place."

"A permanent group headquarters will allow for better planning and execution of both the current focus on port operations and the ongoing shift to nodal in-transit visibility to better support SDDC responsibilities in end-to-end deployment and distribution support throughout the theater."

The 599th is composed of approximately 40 persons supported by several Army, Navy, and Coast Guard transportation units-mostly from the Reserve component. Group members manage theater deployment and distribution operations of all incoming and outgoing cargoes.

Currently, the only permanent SDDC presence in the area is the 831st Transportation Battalion, Bahrain, with detachments in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar.

In an order signed by Col. Rodney Mallette, SDDC Chief of Staff, Harvey was ordered to organize the provisional group. Once established, the Army has the option to formalize the organization into a permanent unit--dropping the provisional from the formal name.

Initial unit strength of the 595th will be 40 military and 40 civilians.

The action was initiated in response to a request from the commander of U.S. Central Command, said Col. Robert Askey, SDDC director of training, readiness and mobilization.

"This will improve our capability to deploy and redeploy cargo and move sustainment in the region," said Askey. "We will be better able to carry out our responsibilities as the surface component of the distribution process."

SDDC operations in Southwest Asia will be busy in the immediate future. In Operation Iraqi Freedom III, the 595th is scheduled to handle more than 150 vessel operations involving millions of square feet of cargo, including 70 loadings and 80 discharges between now and April 2005.

The formalization of the 595th now gives SDDC four operating groups. The other three include: 597th Transportation Group, Sunny Point, N.C.; the 598th, and the 599th.
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Title Annotation:Surface Deployment and Distribution Command
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2004
Previous Article:SDDC continues shipments for Operation Iraqi Freedom III.
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