PAYNESVILLE, Liberia — Sending large engineering vehicles and containers of equipment back from Liberia is a tedious task. There are containers to load, vessels to seal and inspections to pass before a unit can send its gear back to its home station. A unit movement officer is vital to help coordinate the entire process.
First Lt. Priscilla Ro, movement officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, is in charge of transitioning military equipment out of Liberia, in support of Operation United Assistance, Joint Forces Command–United Assistance, at the National Police Training Academy, in Paynesville.
“My mission out here is to redeploy the equipment by preparing, sealing containers, custom inspection and load equipment on vessels,” Ro said. “Since we are drawing down on soldiers, we have to draw down on equipment as well.”
Safety is top priority, the container yard is specifically laid out with it in mind, said Sgt. Marc Hillary, the company’s movement noncommissioned officer in charge. For instance, the crane used to move containers is set up away from soldiers. If the cables snap or malfunction, they would fire off safely toward the landing zone.
Each morning, Hillary prints a spreadsheet of the containers at the training academy.
“Once we review the spreadsheet, we go to the container yard and check off every container that is loaded on the non-tactical vehicle,” Hillary said. “We ensure that we’re tracking exactly where that piece is and where that piece is going.” Once all equipment is prepared, each piece is taken to the staging area in Buchanan,
The 101st Airborne Division of Fort Campbell, Ky., has been supportive in helping the brigade. Due to prior coordination with the 101st Sustainment Brigade and 53rd Movement Control Team, out of Fort Bragg, N.C., it has been a lot easier to run operations, Ro said.
“They provided us with customs and transportation for the containers,” she said. “They oversee the control of movement for convoying equipment to the staging yard in Buchanan.”