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NEWS | Sept. 7, 2021

Army Reserve Soldiers help move cargo during 101st Airborne Division's sea deployment readiness exercise

By Julie A. Kelemen 597th Transportation Brigade

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to the 841st Transportation Battalion provided cargo handling support aboard the USNS Mendonca in support of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division's sea deployment readiness exercise at the Port of Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 24.

The reservists are from the 502nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element and are conducting annual training with the 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element, who are on a one year assignment, according to Maj. Andrew Deel, Operations Officer, 841st Transportation Bn.

Sgt. Dilan Labbie, a transportation management coordinator with the 502nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element, worked inside the vessel during the 12 hour loading operation.

"I was stoked when I got my orders to come here for our Annual Training mission," Labbie said, "Due to quarantine, I felt like I was doing nothing even though I was working a 9-5 job."

Inside the USNS Medonca, Labbie ducked through tight spaces between vehicles while he sketched a blueprint of the cargo, while being careful not to get lashed by chains used to secure the cargo.

Transportation management coordinators are primarily responsible for scheduling and selecting the modes of transportation for personnel and equipment. They organize, plan and oversee the movement of those vehicles, personnel and cargo worldwide.

After the cargo was accounted for, the vessel departed for Port Arthur, Texas, for the next phase of the 3rd Brigade's Sea Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise.

The 597th Transportation Brigade is a part of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, responsible for integrating and synchronizing surface deployment and distribution capabilities in the Continental U.S, deploying and sustaining the Armed Forces off the East and Gulf coasts in support of global operations and U.S. Southern Command.