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    DDST saves units time, money to get home

    DDST saves units time, money to get home

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Charlotte Reavis | BAGRAM AFGHANISTAN -- The 831st Transportation Battalion, based out of Manama,...... read more read more

    BAGRAM, Afghanistan – When a unit deploys, they bring millions of dollars’ worth of equipment with them in several large containers, which must then be cleaned repacked and shipped back home when their mission is complete. The 831st Transportation Battalion, based out of Manama, Bahrain, has a Deployment and Distribution Support Team that assists units redeploying, including 101st Combat Aviation Brigade that is redeploying early next year.
    “The DDST’s primary mission is to facilitate a unit’s deployment or redeployment by providing direct transportation support to the unit through the appointed Unit Mobility Officer,” said Maj. Jeffrey Tengonciang, the officer-in-charge of the team. “In short, by facilitating their movement, units are able to arrive and depart on schedule.”
    The 831st DDST traveled to Afghanistan from Bahrain so they could provide hands on assistance to the 101st CAB, which has detachments across the country. The team had to split into pairs to cover down on as many locations as possible.
    “By providing DDST assistance, accuracy for processing and efficiency of movement is greatly enhanced thus streamlining the review process,” Tengonciang said, “reducing both delays and the frustration of cargo and ultimately saving the government, unit and taxpayers time and money.”
    The team arrived at Bagram Nov. 12, reviewed the equipment they would encounter at the different unit locations, how to measure and account for the weights and make sure the appropriate documentation is accurately completed, including the hazardous item declarations.
    “The documentation created allows the reviewer to safely place or plan for the actual movement of the unit’s cargo,” said Tengonciang, a Claymont, Dela. native. “Review of cargo also helps to develop efficiency of movement by verifying accuracy of reported weights and measures as well as identifying any existing issues that would slow or frustrate cargo movement.”
    The team then divided into smaller two-person teams and went to the different bases across Afghanistan. From there, they met with the commanders and Unit Movement Officers, physically reviewed and measured as many of the containers and equipment as time would allow and quality assured/quality controlled the documentation, answering the unit’s questions before moving to the next location.
    “One of the biggest things we look for when coming out to a unit is dimensional data,” Sgt. Kyle Rice, a member of the DDST, said. “That is the biggest issue we have with units because they typically pull data from an old (MSL) label versus physically putting hands on the equipment.”
    The team inspected ISU-90s, BICONs, TRICONs and vehicles, including fuelers and gators. Not only did they check the dimensional data of each piece, but they also verified container seals, structural integrity and potential vehicle modifications, Rice said.
    Tengonciang stated the DDST contacts a unit approximately 150 days out from their deployment to home station so they can begin to brief the unit on the advantages of having a DDST review their equipment. From there, they coordinate with the unit to visit the location and get hands on inspection time.
    “At each location with the 101st, we have been able to provide education, verification and clarification on transportation requirements,” he said. “Our teams have been able to operate safely and unencumbered during the whole time on the ground.”
    A DDST can support any and all units with deployment to home station requirements, ideally within the given DDST’s area of responsibility, Tengonciang said. Currently, the 831st can assist units and cargo movement in 13 countries across Central Command.
    “The 101st has been happy to have our support,” he said. “We have either verified/validated their work, provided valuable education or have steered them onto the correct path. By identifying issues upfront while time exists for corrective action, we have eliminated if not reduced the probability of frustrated cargo.”
    Frustrated cargo is cargo that has deficiencies and will not be able to safely travel back to home station. This also means the cargo may sit at the port for an extended amount of time, leaving the unit without their equipment and potentially costing the government money until the deficiencies can be corrected.
    “A successful mission would fulfill CENTCOM requirements, allow for fluid movement of operations and sustainment, and allow for the 101st CAB to get much needed rest back home,” said Tengonciang. “Overall, this allows for the planning of enemy engagement, retrofit of equipment, and planned personnel resiliency to occur as intended by Big Army.”
    Although the 831st is redeploying to home station themselves soon, they are planning to set the follow-on team up with missions that will allow them to continue the DDST mission in theater and aid units across CENTCOM in going home in a timely and efficient manner.



    Date Taken: 11.19.2018
    Date Posted: 11.29.2018 03:50
    Story ID: 301549
    Location: AF

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