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    RAID team helps Army get gear home safely

    RAID team helps Army get gear home safely

    Photo By Sgt. Crystal Hudson | Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Sobczak, from Chesapeake, Va., a member of the U.S. Coast...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Crystal Hudson 

    United States Division-North

    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq -- Two U.S. Coast Guard petty officers are part of a team that assists service members with the proper declaration, classification, labeling and packaging of shipping containers leaving Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq.

    Petty Officers 1st Class Alfred Jurison, from Waipahu, Hawaii, and Eric Sobczak, from Chesapeake, Va., are assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Redeployment Assistance and Inspection Detachment.

    Established in 2003, RAID is responsible for assisting the Department of Defense with the safe redeployment of containerized cargo. The detachment supports U.S. Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and is embedded with the 840th Transportation Battalion, under the 595th Transportation Brigade.

    “We are advisers, we don’t enforce any regulations,” said Sobczak, a marine science technician. “We want to make sure the containers get back home safely.”

    Shipping containers without proper documentation slow down the process at its port of entry. The ports charge the Department of Defense for each day they hold a container that was improperly labeled, Sobczak said.

    “We have prevented containers from being frustrated at ports, which has saved the Department of Defense (money) and time,” said Sobczak.

    Not only does this level of attention save the Army money, but it also ensures that hazardous materials are packaged properly to avoid dangerous situations during transportation, Jurison said.

    Many units send hazardous materials back home; these include flammable liquids, batteries, and other sensitive items.

    When it comes to HAZMAT, the team makes sure that the items are properly loaded, labeled correctly, and the container is safe to carry the cargo.

    “In case there is an emergency, the first responders will know how to react,” Jurison said.

    To cut down on possible problems during the journey home, the team evaluates the containers to ensure each one is seaworthy.

    A normal inspection starts with a visual assessment of all sides of the container, including the top and bottom. A light check is also performed during the inspection by going inside the container, shutting the door completely to verify that no light enters the container from the outside.

    Once it is determined that the container can safely make the journey to the U.S., the petty officers confirm that all of the numbers on the containers match their records. If everything checks out, the container gets an inspection sticker that is good for 30 months.

    With the help of the U.S. Coast Guard RAID team, Army units at COB Speicher move one step closer to returning home.

    Sobczak concluded, “It is rewarding helping Army units get home.”



    Date Taken: 09.20.2011
    Date Posted: 09.20.2011 10:09
    Story ID: 77304

    Web Views: 275
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