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SDDC swaps HQ's group to meet overseas movements tempo.

In a move unprecedented in its 30-year history, a Hawaiian command of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command will temporarily take over the duties of cargo movements half a world away--in Southwest Asia.

The 599th Transportation Group, located at Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii, will take charge of freight movements for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom for the next six months.

Approximately 40 military and civilian staff members will deploy in mid-June, according to Col. Tom Harvey, commander. The team will be backed up with additional Army and Navy Reservists.

The group's work will be concentrated at the Kuwaiti port of Ash Shuaiba, Kuwait.

"We will form the core of the newly designated Surface Deployment Distribution Command, Southwest Asia, a unit primarily engaged in managing port and ocean terminal operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom," said Harvey.

With the Department of Defense engaged in the biggest cargo movements in half a century, the move is designed to give a break to soldiers and civilians of the 598th Transportation Group, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, currently responsible for the Southwest Asia moves.

This is the first wartime deployment of the 599th Transportation Group since it was formed in 1991. The group's normal mission is command and control of SDDC ports in Okinawa, Japan; Yokohama, Japan; and Pusan, South Korea.

"As the high tempo of troop and cargo movement in Kuwait continues, the 599th will have the opportunity to enhance their port operations skills by moving large quantities of military cargo in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan," said Harvey.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom II, SDDC directed the movement of over 330-vessel operations to-and-from Southwest Asia.

In the next rotation cycle, SDDC will move replacement units into the area beginning in September as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III.

Guy Cabral 599th Transportation Group
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Title Annotation:Surface Deployment and Distribution Command; Head Quarters
Author:Cabral, Guy
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2004
Previous Article:Small units play big role in SDDC operations.
Next Article:SDDC groups observe command shift.

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