Printer Friendly

SDDC moves first commercially booked cargo via an Iraqi port.

The first commercially booked maritime shipment into an Iraqi port has been conducted by the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

APL brought the shipment into the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr aboard the feeder vessel Sima Tara. The port was the scene of heavy fighting in the first days of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was declared captured March 25, 2003. Later, explosives and maritime experts had to clear the port of mines and obstacles.

The Sept. 27 shipment handled by SDDC's 831st Transportation Battalion was actually a test to validate the use of the port and at the same time to reduce the supply lines for deployed U.S. forces and to boost Iraqi economic growth and infrastructure development.

The cargo consisted of 10 containers of military construction supplies that originated from a storage location in Bahrain. Upon discharge, the containers were shipped by railroad to a Coalition customer in Central Iraq.

This is also the first non-humanitarian aid cargo to transit Umm Qasr, Iraq's deepest water port located at the far southeast corner of the country, near the Kuwaiti border. The port has been served by smaller feeder vessels that originate at major seaport transshipment hubs in the region.

The 831st, headquartered in Bahrain, on the Persian Gulf, coordinated the test with U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; Combined/Joint Task Force 7, Baghdad; and Joint Movements Center, Kuwait.

"This is an extremely important first step as it eliminated the need to discharge these containers in Kuwait and transship them via truck to Iraq," said Lt. Col. Stanley Wolosz, 831st commander. "Streamlined commercial ocean service direct to Iraq will offer military as well as commercial customers more transportation options and will likely shorten ship time for all."

In late October, a second shipment of 166 containers was discharged in Umm Qasr again from the Sima Tara.

As the Iraqi infrastructure develops, SDDC planners hope to eventually book sustainment cargo for Operation Iraqi Freedom directly into Iraq through Umm Qasr. In this manner, the carrier and his agents will conduct all intermediate transportation arrangements to ensure door-to-door shipments for military customers.

The movement was the responsibility of Capt. David Mitchell, commander, of the 831st detachment in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Mitchell coordinated the discharge with APL's agent, Saba Marine Services Co., of Baghdad. Mitchell's key contacts were Capt. Saieb Shakir, general manager of the firm, and his brother engineer Bilal Shakir.

"These men were visibly excited about the chance of beginning commercial service and happy to see their country moving forward and into the international business community," said Mitchell.

Saieb has been in the shipping business for over 10 years. Bilal, who has never left Iraq, is a university trained computer programmer.

Mitchell praised the work of his Iraqi partners.

"Once Captain Shakir got the labor arrangements squared away, the rest of the operation went like clockwork," said Saieb Shakir. "The containers were discharged, moved and secured at the railhead exactly as we had directed.

"We hope this is the beginning of commercial shipments that will help us as customers and help the Iraqi people as a whole."

The test shipment took place with the cooperation of the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Ports Authority, currently being assisted by Stevedoring Services of America.

By Maj. Robert Russell and Capt. David Mitchell, 831st Transportation Battalion
COPYRIGHT 2004 U.S. Military Traffic Management Command
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Mitchell, David
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:SDDC moves Strykers to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Next Article:Combat vehicles shipped to the new Afghanistan Army.

Related Articles
599th move 25th Infantry Division to Southwest Asia.
SDDC inaugurates use of newest Strategic Port.
Symposium breakout sessions-lessons learned: reserve equipment shortcomings delay SDDC equipment moves.
SDDC deploys 1st Cavalry Division into Iraq.
598th transportation group (forward): Robust SDDC operations create port cargo-handling record.
SDDC shifts Caribbean port to Jacksonville, Fla.
Brig. Gen. Charles Fletcher, Jr., assumes command of SDDC.
SDDC continues shipments for Operation Iraqi Freedom III.
Augmentation at ports is part of formula for success.
Program executive office for enterprise information systems news release (Jan. 27, 2005): Deployable Port Operations Center provides total asset...

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters