ECCP Yard Mission and Safety Go Hand-In-Hand
Story and Photo by Sgt. Jorge Anaya
40th Quartermaster Company Public Affairs Representative
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — The focus of the 159th Seaport Operations Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq is on mission and safety operations at the empty container collection point.
The ECCP’s mission is a fast-paced operation, said Staff Sgt. James Wilson, noncommissioned officer in charge of the ECCP with the 159th SOC and a St. Paul, Minn., native.
The main concern is the movement and rearrangement of containers from outside of the yard to the back area of the ECCP. If not handled carefully, actions may result in the failure of other missions, he said.
“With construction … on the South Side, we needed to move containers to place all of them in our yard,” Wilson said. “So far, we have moved over 200 … containers and I’m also vigilant to ensure that safety is also followed. We separate all serviceable containers from those that require repairs. Most of these containers will be returned to their respective owners if they are leased and others will probably stay here to be given to our Iraqi counterparts.”
Outside the borders of the yard, the forklifts move the two and a half-ton containers; they are lifted from the ground and placed on flatbed trucks.
Pfc. Richard Wilson, a forklift operator with the159th SOC and an Austin, Texas, native, uses four types of forklifts to move items as part of his job.
“I’ve been using forklifts for a while now,” he said. “I recognize their potential and their limitations. The best way to operate your equipment is to know what it can do and that it is used properly.”
Being comfortable with the operation of the equipment helps accomplish the ECCP mission, Wilson said.
“I am usually alert and cautious,” he said “It helps me apply safety whenever I’m on the move.”
Sgt. Matthew Craven, an ECCP day shift NCO with the159th SOC ECCP and a Sanford, N.C., native, observes and inspects containers once they’re stacked.
“I ensure that containers are safely placed when stacked” he said “We do not want to see a container roll off and cause accidents or injuries, which is why we check and check again. This way we have two to three Soldiers check and obtain any concerns from each, just in case one catches something that the other did not.”
“(The) 159th SOC not only places the mission first, but safety checks are also first and never a close second,” Craven said.
Pfc. Richard Wilson, a forklift operator with the 159th Seaport Operations Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a native of Austin, Texas, uses a forklift to place a container on a flatbed truck scheduled to go to the empty container collection point, May 1 at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. (U.S. Army Photo taken by Sgt. Jorge L. Anaya)