By Sgt. Heath Doppke
| 79th Theater Sustainment Command | March 4, 2020
Sgt. Myra Garcia and Pvt. Peter Anderson, both transport managment coordinators with the 304th Movement Control Team, take notes during a brief on the operation of the Portable Deployment Kit II, at March Air Force Base, Riverside, Calif., February, 22, 2020. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Heath Doppke/79th Theater Sustainment Command) (Photo by Sgt. Heath Doppke)
Todd Chafin, field service engineer, Northern Command, gives instruction on the operation of the Portable Deployment Kit II, at March Air Force Base, Riverside, Calif., February, 22, 2020. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Heath Doppke/79th Theater Sustainment Command) (Photo by Sgt. Heath Doppke)
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 304th Movement Control Team began training with the Portable Deployment Kit II in preparation for their upcoming mission in Morocco, Africa, as part of African Lion 20 on Feb. 22, 2020.
African Lion 20 is a large-scale U.S.-led multinational exercise in Africa. The 304th MCT will be involved in returning equipment used in AL20 back to its origin, "We're sending equipment from all over the world back to their home stations," explained Lt. Adam Moniz, commander of the 304th MCT.
A movement control team is designed to expedite, coordinate, and supervise transportation support of units, cargo, and personnel in and out of logistics areas such as air and water ports.
The 304th MCT will be utilizing the PDK II in Morocco, a system which automates the collection of cargo and passenger data, and tracks unit equipment and vehicles such as high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, M109A6 Paladins and more.
"We are conducting hands-on training for their portable deployment kits, which is a hand carry system that's always with the [team] to track and have in-transit visibility for equipment, personnel and anything else that's moving within their area of responsibility," explained Moniz.
The PDK II allows for the unit to effectively and efficiently accomplish its mission by tracking through radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. It uploads instantly to a computer, condensing the time it would normally take to track manually.
"It saves us so much time and effort to be able to say where a piece of equipment is," explained Moniz.
"With in-transit visibility, any time cargo, equipment, containers or anything is shipped, those assets are tracked from point a to point b," explains Chief Warrant Officer Delvin Bailey, information systems technician, 79th Theater Sustainment Command.
Systems like the PDK II ensure the success of military logistics operations.
"You can't have military without logistics," said Moniz. "You can't move anything or move personnel or equipment to any place without logistics." Moniz explained that wars have been won and lost as a result of a forces' ability to sustain troops.
"Being able to track equipment from point A to point B ensures mission success," Bailey continued.
Exercises like AL20 allow the 79th TSC to integrate with U.S. Army Africa and test its ability to deploy an expeditionary sustainment command forward, practicing its operational mission on the African continent.
"You have to be able to do it right and do it the first time and continue to be able to adapt to the changing situations," explained Moniz.