Leaders discuss Contingency Operating Location Scania closure

Story and photo by Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION SCANIA, Iraq — Leaders held a meeting March 14 at Contingency Operating Location Scania, Iraq, to discuss plans to close the location and transfer convoy operations to Contingency Operating Location Kalsu, Iraq, as part of the upcoming responsible drawdown of forces and equipment in the Iraq Joint Operations Area.

Capt. William L. Waldman, the officer in charge of base closure on COL Scania with the 389th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), spoke at the meeting about his proposed plan for Scania.

Waldman, a Hatfield, Penn., native, said he is in the planning phase of his 210-day plan for the base closure.

"Phase one, is planning," he said. "Phase two is more or less drawdown; you are taking a lot of the extra items, unused (containerized housing units), and buildings, taking that stuff and getting rid of it. The third phase is more or less an Expeditionary phase where you are … eating out of a mobile kitchen trailer and living in a tent; you are setting the place up so that it takes only 45 days to get everything out of here. The final phase is the actual closure."

Even at this early stage, measures are being taken to ease into the final goal, said Waldman. A base-wide inventory is being conducted with the goal of eliminating unnecessary assets, an Environmental Closure Survey Team examined the base for environmental issues, the Base Closure Assistance Team visited to help guide them through the process, and some excess equipment has already been removed from the base, he said.

Col. Sean A. Ryan, commander of the 36th Sust. Bde. out of Temple, Texas, and a Cedar Park, Texas, native, said progress is being made.

"We are looking at what it would take to shut down (COL) Scania," he said. "A lot of other actions have to fall in place; (COL) Kalsu has to be fully operational and accessible to the amount of traffic that will be coming in."

The convoy support center at COL Kalsu has been designed similarly to COL Scania's CSC, and is scheduled to be fully operational by June 1, said Ryan.

"The same footprint that we use here for parking has already been developed in (COL) Kalsu," he said. "But there are some logistical issues, just with some bridging and things, traffic pattern issues that we are trying to (address in order) to mature Kalsu to be an area where trucks can remain overnight."

Ryan said closing a base is a large task, but with proper planning and knowledge of available assets, the closing of COL Scania should run smoothly.

"Base closure is not something that you do in a day," he said. "The best thing we can do is inventory, know what is on the ground, know the personnel, know the footprint, and if you know all of those things, you can plan to dispose of it."

 

news photo
A rooftop view of Contingency Operating Location Scania, Iraq. The COL is scheduled to close by Oct. 1, as part of the upcoming responsible drawdown of forces and equipment in Iraq.
(U.S. Army photo by: Pfc. Lisa A. Cope)

news photo
Col. Sean A. Ryan, commander of the 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Cedar Park, Texas, native, discusses plans for the closure of Contingency Operating Location Scania, Iraq, with Maj. Vincent Felix, the base mayor for COL Scania with the 389th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 36th Sust. Bde. and a Yonkers, N.Y., native, March 14 at COL Scania.
(U.S. Army photo by: Pfc. Lisa A. Cope)