Permanent Deployment: Where do all the pieces go?


by Whitney LB Miller

ANCHORAGE - For the troops on JBER preparing to deactivate this fall - packing up and shipping out takes on a whole new meaning as hundreds of hours are being devoted to actually shipping thousands of pieces of equipment.

Any move can be daunting and the soldiers with the 2nd engineer brigade know that first hand.
Officers in charge of this massive project and they explain how detailed the process is.

On a normal day to day, Chief Marianna Cruz is responsible for managing the army's equipment and filling shortages in other units as they prepare for their missions and training.

"It's pretty much all heavy equipment, we range from computers to automation, locally purchased equipment basically anything that the army needs to perform its mission," said Cruz."

Finding out about the deactivation; Chief Cruz prepares to undertake one of her largest logistical missions. Locating, repairing and shipping thousands of pieces of equipment all across the US Army.

"Well there is actually quite a bit of planning involved, we work closely with the USARAK G4 to identify and fill shortages internally across Alaska," she said. "Then identify what equipment needs to move our of Alaska possibly to fill other pacific commands."

Since the news of the deactivation; companies have shut down training and focused solely on repairing the equipment before its shipped out.

Some pieces moving across base, while others are sent across the pacific.

"There is definitely a lot that goes into it I think the soldiers at the company level feel it more because the supply sergeants have to go through a big process of inspecting the equipment and making sure that it is still mission capable and can still perform its expectations," said Cruz.

Chief Cruz says on average it can cost tax payers anywhere from 25 dollars to 130 thousand dollars to ship some of the equipment.

That's why she was relieved when an act of kindness saved the unit a few hundred thousand dollars.

"We recently pushed about 300 pieces of equipment down to Hawaii and in prep for that instead of going through local contracts and spending a lot of the tax payers money we instead were able to procure a logistics support vessel that was able to ship the equipment down to Hawaii," said Cruz.

Chief Cruz says in undertaking this massive project it has definitely been a showing of team work and fitting all the pieces of the puzzle together.