News: Navy unit relocates to Kyrgyzstan
TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - The United States Naval Forces Central Command Forward Headquarters Manas received its first troop movement here Feb. 10.
Fifteen sailors at NAVCENT FWD HQ Manas have been setting up shop for three months, building relationships with Transit Center airmen, preparing the movement facility and refining processes for the logistics mission.
The Manas location replaces NAVCENT FWD HQ Kuwait's Reception, Staging, Onward Movement & Integration unit, due to a realignment of Kuwait assets. After last year's drawdown, there is no longer a need for troop movement into Iraq, but a requirement exists for Afghanistan. The sailors at the Transit Center fill administrative, operations, supply, communications and Joint Movement Control Center positions.
"This is a sailor's last touchpoint with a Navy unit that can take care of his or her admin needs right before heading into or out of Afghanistan," said Cmdr. Herbert Carmen, NAVCENT FWD HQ Manas officer in charge. "We have direct visibility to flights and our sailors and coalition members on the ground at the Transit Center. We have a much better understanding of the flow of people coming into and out of Afghanistan."
A deploying sailor's travel time has decreased by about 50 percent with the move from Kuwait. "The transition is much easier here at the Transit Center," said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class John Ross, a liaison officer deployed here from the Naval Operations Support Center in Long Island, N.Y. He moved from the Kuwait location to the Transit Center and can see the differences firsthand.
The Transit Center handles local transportation and billeting for sailors, since there is an existing process which takes that requirement off NAVCENT FWD HQ Manas and allows them to do their primary job of moving and tracking sailors.
"I assist them with things like travel, pay, entitlements and life insurance," said Petty Officer 1st Class Rodrick Hall, the personnel lead petty officer for NAVCENT FWD HQ Manas.
Since Air Force and Navy databases are not interfaced, a sailor with financial issues needs the support of a Navy unit - something the Transit Center couldn't support until now.
On the first movement, more than 100 sailors processed through NAVCENT FWD HQ Manas before going downrange.
The new unit projects 600 sailors will pass though monthly. The Transit Center passenger terminal currently processes an average of 45,000 troops each month.
"Operations won't change. The only difference will be seeing different uniforms," said Senior Master Sgt. Shannon Servando 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial port superintendent.
The Navy's addition to the Transit Center already shows increased camaraderie between the services.
"We feel just like we're a part of the mission here at the Transit Center, so that is really fantastic," Carmen said.
"It's great to have all branches working side-by-side. We are all working toward one goal as one team, one fight," Ross said.
Date Posted:02.11.2012 03:16
Location:TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, KG
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