U.S. loads 15 military supply ships for Iraq

U.S. loads 15 military supply ships for Iraq

The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, using 15 ships, has deployed the 1st Cavalry Division to Iraq from two Gulf Coast ports.

To move the Fort Hood, Texas-based division, the command loaded ships in February at both Beaumont and Corpus Christi, Texas.

The SDDC will be moving some 3,500 pieces of cargo, which some elements of the Army's III Corps Headquarters, also based at Fort Hood.

In Iraq, the 1st Cavalry Division will replace Soldiers from the 1st Armored Division in the Baghdad area. The 1st Cavalry Soldiers will be augmented by the 39th Enhanced Separate Brigade, of the Arkansas Army National Guard.

The movement of the division is part of the largest deployment of soldiers and Marines since World War II. In all, an Army and Marine Corps force of 110,000 troops will replace American military forces currently serving in Iraq.

The U.S. Army Reserve's 1192nd Transportation Terminal Brigade loaded the USNS Shughart, a Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off (LMSR) vessel in Corpus Christi in early February. The vessel sailed Feb. 9. Loading began immediately on the next vessel, the USNS Pollux, a Fast Sealift Ship (FSS) operated by the Military Sealift Command.

After the Pollux, soldiers loaded two reserve vessels operated by the Maritime Administration.

To date, the 1192nd has loaded or unloaded 130 vessels at 15 different ports, and moved 110,000 pieces of cargo, or half of the 25-million square feet of cargo moved by the Military Sealift Command's military and civilian contract ships.