The Jacksonville Port Authority also known by its brand name, JAXPORT, has announced that it hosted one of largest U.S. Military operations as part of Army’s deployment to Europe.
The mission involved approximately 2,500 M1 massive Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M109 Paladin Howitzer Artillery pieces, and various of other tracked and wheeled support vehicles that were loaded onto three ships bound for Europe. 150 trucks and 640 rail cars are also being utilized to get the equipment from Texas to Jacksonville.
The move is being conducted by soldiers from the Blount Island-based 832nd Transportation Battalion; in coordination with the 597th Transportation Brigade from Fort Eustis, Virginia; and the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas.
The mission, which is the largest of its kind at JAXPORT since Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, is in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a regularly scheduled nine-month-long event in Europe. The purpose of the operation is to build readiness, increase interoperability and enhance the bonds between ally and partner militaries with multinational training events in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.
“Conducting such a major operation involves a lot of moving parts, but it all comes together here in Jacksonville,” said Lt. Col. Tom Patterson, Battalion Commander, 832nd Transportation Battalion. “Practice missions like this one are essential to our national readiness, ensuring we are always prepared to react quickly during a time of crisis.”
JAXPORT is one of 17 U.S. Strategic Seaports on-call to move military cargo for national defense, foreign humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and the only port in Florida with this designation.