NEW CUMEBRLAND, Pa. –
In July, the Defense Logistics Agency provided more than two thousand items including a fire truck, mattresses, and various construction materials and tools by ship to Thule Air Base, Greenland as part of an annual resupply mission named Operation Pacer Goose. Michael Spriggs, a blocker and bracer at DLA Distribution Norfolk, Virginia, believes the upload portion of Operation Pacer Goose was successful.
“As a TEAM, we were able to load and secure all of the equipment onto the ship safely,” Spriggs said.
For more information, see the Pacer Goose Part I article here: DLA Distribution supports Pacer Goose mission
Spriggs also describes the second part of the important Pacer Goose mission.
“The Pacer Goose resupply mission is the only way to not only get essential supplies to Thule Air Base, Greenland,” he said, “but it also brings the old equipment back from the base that is not needed there anymore. Without the resupply mission, the base would not have enough supplies to operate.”
The resupply ship arrived at Thule Air Base, Greenland safely. To get to the remote base, the resupply ship rendezvous with a Canadian Coast Guard ice breaker ship to make a path to get to the base because the port is usually frozen over.
The cargo was successfully uploaded to the base.
After the upload of the supplies was complete, the download portion of the mission began. This part of the mission entails loading up retrograde materials that are not needed at the base anymore to be shipped back to the United States.
The cargo consisted of batteries, scrap cables, scrap iron, scraped vehicles, a fire truck, a cargo truck, a field truck, construction equipment, shop tools and tires, weighing in at a total 448 megatons.
The ship then returned to DLA Distribution Norfolk, where workers unloaded the cargo.
“When the cargo is unloaded, it gets sorted and then taken to the cargo yard, where the different vendors who own the equipment can make appointments to pick it up,” said Bobby Blanson, the director of the Pier 8 Vessel Operations TEAM at DDNV. “Equipment that is not necessarily owned by anyone goes to DLA Disposition Services for processing.”
When the cargo is unloaded, DLA Disposition Services takes over the mission to process any property that is not owned by a vendor.
Becky Watson, area manager for DLA Disposition Services at Norfolk, Virginia, shared the immense coordination and planning that took place with numerous mission partners including DLA Distribution and allowed the evolution to be completed in six hours. In the past, this process has taken several days. This year was also different as her team received and emptied all containers and flat racks so they can be returned to the ship on the same day.
Jesse Smith, the operations chief at DLA Disposition Services Norfolk, Virginia, explained what the next step is for the cargo.
“The next step is that DLA Disposition Services personnel will examine and inspect the property through a ‘kind, count and condition’ receipt process. If any property is deemed usable, the property either goes through the reutilization process — where it’s offered to DoD, gets transferred to other federal agencies, or is donated to state agencies or authorized organizations.”
Reutilization, transfer, and donation to other organizations are the means that Disposition Services used to complete this process. Defense Department agencies receive the first offers of property reutilization but if there is no need within DoD, other organizations are then given an opportunity to receive the property. Through this requisition process, military forces, and other agencies around the globe benefit from equipment and material that would otherwise have been unavailable to them without this capability, often providing the gaining agency significant cost avoidance. This is one of the biggest benefits from the process as customers only pay for shipping costs.
For items that are not requisitioned through the RTD process, the final step is for them to be transferred to sales for our sales contractor to receive and take off DLA’s records.
“Our DLA Disposition Services team members look forward to supporting this complex, important, mission critical, annual disposal operation to our nation’s northernmost military base,” Watson said.
Key DLA players, Clifford Williams, environmental coordinator, Jesse Smith, and George Bracket, DLA Distribution Norfolk stevedore supervisor, collaborated and were instrumental in the successful completion of this exciting annual mission.