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SDDC's special operators: short-notice mission highlights capabilities of 838th Transportation Battalion's Deployment and Distribution Support Team.

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The successful completion of operations March 19 at Illesheim, Germany demonstrated the agility and flexibility of the 838th Transportation Battalion Deployment and Distribution Support Team (DDST).

The mission was a collective effort between the deploying unit, 3rd Bn., 58th Aviation Regiment's Air Traffic Services Battalion, 21st Theater Support Command, and the 838th Trans. Bn. DDST.

The significance of this particular mission was that it demonstrated the ability of the 838th to assemble and push out DDSTs, regardless of lead time, to support operations any time or place.

Operating with little advance notice of the mission, and just coming off of a port operations mission in Antwerp, the team was able to devise a deliberate plan that guaranteed the deploying unit's equipment was prepared for Installation Support Activity inspectors.

The responsiveness of the DDST in executing an unexpected mission demonstrated the team's intended role in providing support to deploying and redeploying units, according to Maj. Luke Meyers, executive officer for the 838th Trans. Bn.

"[The DDSTs] are uniquely qualified and strategically positioned as an asset within SDDC to help facilitate the success of units during Installation Support Activity operations," said Meyers.

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The team assembled to conduct the mission was comprised of Capt. Anderson Raub, DDST officer in charge, Sgt. First Class Bobby Blanson, DDST NCOIC, Anthony Armstrong, cargo control, and marine cargo specialists Michel van Marle and Wolfgang Scherer.

DDSTs provide support in many aspects of deployment and redeployment operations, including containerization processing, identifying and documenting hazardous materials, preparing in transit visibility tags, and supporting onward movement. The importance of DDSTs and the capabilities they bring make the teams a valuable tool to the overall surface deployment and distribution enterprise.

"These teams bring a highly specialized skill set to the fight," said DDST member Sgt. First Class Larry Dozier. "In the SDDC arena they are our equivalent to special operators: these guys are the first ones in, they are our main effort, they prep the SDDC battlefield, and ultimately ensure mission success time and time again."

As the 838th Trans. Bn. continues its mission to support units deploying and redeploying, DDSTs will continue to be the key to guaranteeing success.

By Captain Anderson Raub,

838th Transportation Battalion, Operations Officer
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Author:Raub, Anderson
Publication:Translog
Date:Jun 22, 2009
Words:372
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