Teamwork moves a mountain in the Pacific

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

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After more than two years of talks and planning, Defense Logistics Agency personnel watched as two barges successfully transported more than 6 million pounds of scrap material from the U.S. Army Garrison at Kwajalein Atoll.

Declines in the global scrap metals market, funding levels, and the atoll’s remote location in the Marshall Islands contributed to past challenges for DLA Disposition Services to support the customer’s request to arrange for scrap removal and disposal via a service contract. Acquisitions Director Tracy Hart praised the teamwork between contracting personnel, staff from DLA Disposition Services Pacific region, U.S. Indio-Pacific Command and local leaders for their work on the “Herculean effort.”

Prior to the movement, DLA Disposition Services personnel from the Pacific region headquarters and the field site in Guam provided training to both garrison staff members and contractor employees that helped facilitate the contract, which helped prepare the materials for shipment. Regional staff members provided oversight as contractor employees executed the $5.8 million dollar service contract for the management, transportation, removal, recycling and disposal of the materials.

The first barge departed June 3 with almost one million pounds of scrap. The remaining 5.1 million pounds of scrap departed Kwajalein on another barge July 9. Faron Cordrey, DLA Disposition Services’ Pacific region director, said the next step is for DLA personnel to provide "recognition training" to ensure restricted types property are segregated from scrap material prior to its removal from Kwajalein for more appropriate disposal methods.

“In a nutshell, we are working with the garrison to train them on how to manage and establish a scrap yard,” Cordrey said, explaining the benefits of proper controls to streamline future disposal efforts. Refuse segregated from the 6 million pounds will be handled through a disposal contract.

The scrap removed in the two barges will undergo further sorting and then recycling in Majuro, which is also part of the Marshall Islands, and Asia. Hart said the removal eliminated a “…mountain of scrap for residents and subsequent generations.” 

For more information and photos on the project, read the November/December issue of DLA’s Loglines magazine.