Major OIF II Logistical Operation Underway[MIGRATE]

By Cpl. Danielle M. Bacon | February 19, 2004

The American armed forces here are undertaking a massive reception, staging, onward movement and integration logistical operation in support Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

"It is like watching a dance of a ships maneuvering in and out," said Marine Lt. Col. William C. Boden, assistant chief of staff for logistics, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command. 

"The movement of 300,000 military personnel will be unbelievable considering we are only using one main naval port and one major airport," said Boden.

Boden further pointed out the difference that during OIF I everything was coming in and nothing was going out.

"When all the vehicles are coming in you have to find a place to put them," he said. "Now they are trading spots."
Coordinating the replacement of personnel and equipment has taken place relatively smoothly.

"Ship schedules were very erratic last time.  You never knew what you were going to get.  This time we know what ships we are getting when, and they are coming in on time.  It is much more deliberate," said Col. Phillip N. Yff, assistant chief of staff for logistics, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific.

Today at one end of the shipping port, dozens of shrink-wrapped helicopters and thousands of clean vehicles, all belonging to the Army, wait to embark aboard Afloat Prepositioning Force ships.  At the same time in another area of the port, Marines offload vehicles from Maritime Prepositioning Force ships.

More than 1600 tracked and non-tracked Marine Corps vehicles and approximately 400 containers were either driven or lifted off of MPF ships MV 1ST Lt. Baldomero Lopez, MV Pvt. Franklin J. Phillips and MV Pfc. William B. Baugh, Boden said. 

Utilizing Landing Crafts Air Cushioned the USS Boxer sent even more vehicles and containers ashore.

"Everything is coming off and manifesting the way it should," said 1st Lt. Nicholas J. Lozar, the officer in charge of Beach Operations Group, Brigade Service
Support Group 1.  "It went well because of the Marines I have.  They do their job and they do it well."