The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command received and staged the first set of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade’s Chinook, Black Hawk, and Apache helicopters on Feb. 11, here.
Over the next two weeks, the SDDC and the 16th Sustainment Brigade will facilitate the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration of 10th CAB at seaports in three countries across Europe.
“Twenty years ago, there was constant military activity at the ports with 300,000 U.S. Soldiers in Europe,” said Johan Benner, a marine cargo specialist for the 838th Transportation Battalion, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. “Although there are now 30,000 U.S. Soldiers in Europe, with the addition of regionally allocated forces coming into the area from the continental United States, I’ve seen the flow of military equipment at ports building back up.”
With the arrival of 10th CAB just weeks after the arrival of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, the ability to receive and move armored and aviation brigades swiftly through Europe’s interior lines of communication is critical for speed of assembly and the massing of forces.
The logistical processes of advancing brigades though the deployment pipeline is continuously refined by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command to verify capacities at nodes of transportation and to maintain flexibility.
“Our task is to provide movement control support, transportation expertise, and reporting for 10th CAB,” said Capt. Jacy Schmidt, commander, 635th Transportation Detachment, a native of Manhattan, KS. “We are also evaluating the capacities of the seaports for future operations.”
After touching down at the ports, 10th CAB Soldiers will begin generating combat power by assembling their helicopters and moving to four different countries. Over the next nine months, 10th CAB will conduct medical transport, exercise support, and aviation operations during major multinational training exercises in Europe focusing on interoperability with allies and partners.
“This is an exciting and unique opportunity to train with our allies and operate out of numerous NATO countries. I think it’ll be a great chance to flex our capabilities, assure our allies of our presence, and grow as a joint force,” said 1st Lt. Amber Ingwell, aviation officer, 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, a native of Tomah, WI. “We have all worked tirelessly to train for this deployment, and we are eager to prove our capabilities.”