Washington National Guard soldiers with the 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment are one step closer to deployment.
This week more than 150 vehicles belonging to the unit, which will deploy in support of Operation Spartan Shield later this year, completed the pre-deployment process.
“We have 150 vehicles and 20 containers for the 303rd going through the loading process,” said Capt. Carl Knoblich, logistics officer for the 96th Troop Command. “They will load up at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and then head to Beaumont, Texas.”
The nearly 2,400 mile journey from JBLM to Beaumont is just the beginning. The vehicles and equipment will eventually load onto a cargo ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean in route to the Middle East. Before leaving JBLM though, everything must be measured, weighed, inspected, checked for leaks, and tagged with freight information and location tracking devices.
“We started doing the planning meetings just for the vehicle movement back in October 2018 to start this process,” said Knoblich. “Moving this many vehicles takes a lot of work and man power.”
To assist with the process, 96th Troop Command brought in soldiers from every major subordinate command.
“This is truly a team effort, we couldn’t have done this by ourselves,” said Knoblich. “Eventually we will be repaying that favor to the 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team when they are preparing to deploy in the future.”