News: Transporters prepare Soldiers for redeployment
Story by Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq— When the 840th Transportation Battalion, 595th Transportation Brigade, Surface Distribution and Deployment Command, 1st Theater Support Command, holds its quarterly redeployment transition team brief, it is always a packed house, said Sgt. 1st Class Derek LaMothe, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of distribution and deployment support teams for the 840th Trans. Bn., 595th Trans. Bn., and a native of New Orleans, La.
“We always have a nice little crowd,” said LaMothe. “There were 10 to 15 people that even had to leave.”
More than 100 service members from more than 60 different units on Joint Base Balad showed up for the first of four quarterly RTT briefings of 2011, held Jan. 28. The briefing is an important aspect of the redeployment process, said LaMothe.
The RTT brief brings together five elements of the redeployment process. It consists of the Coast Guard, who handles the regulated waste materials that will be shipped back to the states; customs officers, who check all cargo; the 14th Movement Control Battalion, who move the equipment; the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, who owns all of the equipment that doesn’t leave theater; and the 840th Trans. Bn., who handles all other equipment needs of the units.
“It educates and gives all units that plan on redeploying in the next 120 days all of the documentation needed and the timelines in which to redeploy equipment,” he said. “We want to be able to give people the whole package at once.”
Only units who are 120 days out from redeployment are required to attend the brief, but often units show up that are much further out, he continued.
“They’re contacting us before we contact them,” he said, “because everyone wants to go home.”