Release #: 031022-3
Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, Pa., (USTCNS) --- A shipload of cargo bound for warfighters overseas became the first major military movement from the Department of Defense's newest Strategic Port here in Philadelphia.
Military equipment was loaded aboard a Military Sealift Command's roll-on/roll-off vessel at the port's Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.
The U.S. Transportation Command executes its mission of providing air, land and sea transportation for the DOD through its Transportation Component Commands. Strategic Ports are managed by the Army's Military Traffic Management Command, and cargo is loaded onto ships from the Navy's MSC. The Air Force's Air Mobility Command conducts strategic airlift.
"The loading operation has been as smooth as can be," said Col. Maynard Sanders, commander, of the Army Reserve's 1192nd Transportation Terminal Brigade, New Orleans. "The Port of Philadelphia personnel have been highly supportive of our needs and special requirements."
Doug Anderson, MTMC's Deputy Director of Deployment Operations, echoed that assessment.
"Following the Port of Philadelphia's designation last year as the country's 14th commercial Strategic Seaport," said Anderson, "the Port of Philadelphia personnel put in a lot of effort planning with the Maritime Administration and MTMC's 956th Transportation Company at Fort Monmouth, N.J., to ensure the port would be ready to support military requirements, if needed.
"That professional preparation coupled with excellent teamwork by the professionals at the Packer Avenue Terminal, the military Port Support Activity personnel from Fort Dix, New Jersey, and our stevedoring contractor, Greenwich Terminals, Inc., with our MTMC terminal units made this operation a great team success."
Strategic Seaports are maritime installations designated to potentially support DOD cargo shipments in support of contingencies, said Anderson.
"The selection of a commercial seaport as a Strategic Seaport is based on the types of facilities in the region, the port's capabilities related to military requirements and accessibility by road and rail," according to Anderson.
Philadelphia has considerable attributes to offer to military shipping, said Susan Howland, a ports spokeswoman. Direct high and wide rail service by three major railroads provide the necessary infrastructure.
"The capability is important to move commercial and military goods from the marine terminal to inland locations efficiently and securely," Howland explained.
This is the first major military cargo handled by the port since its designation as a Strategic Port a year ago. Within the past year, the port handled a barge with military cargo destined for Panama as well as some shipments returning from overseas deployments.