Movement control team helps Joint Distribution Center mission move faster

Story by Spc. Michael Camacho
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — An operations unit at the Joint Distribution Center at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, implemented a new transportation standard Dec. 11 to decrease the wait time required to ship sustainment supply cargo throughout Iraq.

The 969th Movement Control Team, 49th Transportation Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), took control of the JDC from the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron Dec.4.

"The mission of the JDC is to process multiclass cargo that needs to be pushed out to different (contingency operating locations) in Iraq," said Capt. Scott Poznanski, the operations officer with the 969th MCT.

Under the 56th LGRS, cargo waited five to 10 days on average before it was moved out via the standard transportation movement request system, said Poznanski, a Madison, Wis., native.

After roughly a week of operation at the JDC, the 969th MCT began to use sustainment transportation movement requests to reduce the overall time for cargo movement, he said.

Subsequently, the 15th, 96th and 90th sustainment brigades transitioned to using sustainment TMRs for missions with the JDC throughout northern Iraq, said Poznanski.

He said the sustainment TMRs significantly reduce their paperwork load, and greatly increase the JDC's efficiency at pushing out mission-related supplies and cargo to units on outlying COLs.

The 969th MCT's end goal is to reduce the window from 10 days, to 48 to 72 hours to reach its designated location, he said.

Poznanski said the JDC at JBB is one of the largest in Iraq and constantly pushes out cargo to sustainment supply depots throughout the country.

The JDC does not process property book items and equipment like a central receiving and shipping point would, said Poznanski. The JDC ensures the proper movement of mission-related supplies and cargo, especially repair parts for property book items, he said.

The JDC at JBB also processes a majority of the supplies pushed north from the Theater Distribution Center in Kuwait, Poznanski said.

Movement and quality control of land cargo is traditionally an Army mission, and fell under the 969th MCT's command when the 56th LGRS left theater, said Staff Sgt. William Chase, the noncommissioned officer in charge of JDC operations with 969th.

Chase said the centralized location of JBB and its onsite assets allows it to serve as a major logistical hub in Iraq.

The JDC is also responsible for the quality control of cargo pushed to the outlying COLs, he said.

"The Joint Distribution Center monitors all the cargo moving up north, to down south, east or west," said Chase.

Cargo going through the JDC is kept in the yard until it has been properly processed and loaded to an outbound convoy, said Poznanski.

The JDC also plays a role in the transportation of retrograde materials from the COLs, and the sustainment TMRs have sped up this process as well, said Chase. With the TMR number, the cargo can be tracked and its location verified, he said.

"If you have retrograde cargo and it needs to go back to Arifjan; it'll come through here," he said. "We TMR it, we process it and ship it out."

Chase said the JDC mission will increase as the drawdown of U.S. forces and equipment progresses.