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105 APPENDIX B: RESPONDING TO SURGE IN FREIGHT TRAFFIC CAUSED BY MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS Using information from published reports and regulations, journal articles and conference presentations, the team was able to summarize the nature of past military cargo deployments through U.S. seaports. To capture current thinking on this issue, this material was supplemented by several expert interviews with selected agencies involved in the deployment supply chain. The goal in each case was to identify the main issues and possible actions that have or might be taken to maintain a reliable rate of cargo throughput for both civilian and military agencies during cargo surges. Following this studyâs emphasis on understanding disruption impacts on complete product supply chains, a loss of access to the highways, railways or waterways serving seaports, as well to the cargo-handling facilities and operations within the ports themselves, was considered in assessing the resiliency to disruption of a portâs cargo- handling capacity. Physical Aspects of Supply Chain Resilience In describing the physical components of seaport operations involving the military mobilization and deployment process it is useful to view a seaport of embarkation as a major cargo collection and transfer node, within what can be a complex, time-sensitive, and enterprise-specific supply chain. The impacting enterprise here is the U.S. military, and its goal is to deliver active duty military units, with all their support equipment and materials, to one or more locations abroad. This often includes large vehicles or other forms of heavy or bulky equipment (tanks, helicopters, âhigh-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, etc.), as well as ammunition, and a variety of both break-bulk and containerized cargos. Error! Reference source not found. shows the major steps in this process, highlighting the role of U.S. seaports. The focus of this case study is on the disruption to supply chain activities taking place within the shaded CONUS box. Figure B- 1: Multi-stage Military Deployment Process and Role of U.S. Seaports PortâtoâFoxholeÂ PreâDeploymentÂ Activities FortâtoâPortÂ PortâtoâPortÂ CONUS LandâSide WaterâSideÂ Â Access/Egress Access/EgressÂ (Truck,Â rail,Â (DeepÂ sea,Â inlandÂ water) GreatÂ Lakes) Shipper(s)/ Receivers Shipping/ Receiving Port(s) =Â ImportantÂ IntermodalÂ CoâOrdinationÂ &Â TransferÂ Points SPOEÂ =Â SeaportÂ ofÂ Embarkation SPODÂ =Â SeaportÂ ofÂ Debarkation IntermodalÂ Transfers, WithinâTerminalÂ andÂ OnâDockÂ Operations WithinÂ SPOE WithinÂ SPOD SEAPORT
106 The USDOT works closely with the USTRANSCOM notably its Military SDDC, to support the overland and sea components of military mobilizations. Such plans require input and action by additional public and private agencies, which depend on the type, size (cargo volumes), and temporal (possibly multi-staged, and sustained) nature of the military deployment. U.S. highways and railways play an important role in these deployments, and both infrastructures are supported by the designation, maintenance, and monitoring of the following strategically significant national subnetworks: Highways for National Defense (HND) The key component of the federal governmentâs HND Program for both wartime and peacetime military deployments is the Strategic Highways Network (STRAHNET). The STRAHNET is comprised of over 61,000 miles of public highways, including over 45,000 miles on the nationâs Interstate System. The purpose of the network is to provide âdefense access, continuity, and emergency capabilities for movements of personnel and equipment in both peace and warâ (Cowin, 2013). The network also includes over 200 âSTRAHNET Connectorsâ, some 1,800 miles of highways that link important military installations and ports to these high capacity, inter-regional highways. Many of these connectors end for deployment purposes at a portâs or other intermodal facilityâs boundary or installation gate. If priority is given to a mobilization unitâs multi-vehicle convoy movements, regular over-the-road commercial traffic could experience delays, notably where lower capacity local roads are used. Recognizing this, the designation of a STRAHNET connector route to a military installation or port allows individual state DOTs to fund improvements and upgrades using National Highway System (NHS) assigned resources.24 Such modifications and upgrades, especially âfirst and last mileâ connections to the Interstate System, are worked out with state and local authorities (see North Florida TPO, 2016 for an example). Broadening the geographic scope somewhat, a recent study by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) mapped the results of a possible sea level rise of 1.5 feet (occurring sometime between years 2032 and 2065), with a second scenario adding a further 3-foot storm surge rise, to determine how these climate change-initiated conditions would impact existing, including STRAHNET, highways serving the port. The report concluded that â25 of the 38 Military and Supporting Sitesâ identifiedâ¦were located within Hampton Roadsâ jurisdictions most vulnerable to floodingâ (Belfield, 2013). Railroads for National Defense (RND) Rail transport is essential for the deployment of oversize and overweight equipment within CONUS, especially for equipment transported farther than 400 miles. However, there are maximum limits and restrictions to the transport of these larger and heavier loads by rail, requiring special permits during contingencies. To ensure that the commercial rail infrastructure in the U.S. meets DOD requirements for force deployment the SDDCâs Transportation Engineering Agency (SDDCTEA) works closely with the FRA to monitor, examine, and improve the tracks providing access to military installations, seaports, and other militarily important intermodal transfer facilities, as part of its Strategic Rail Corridor Network (STRACNET). Mirroring the concept adopted for strategic highways, this network includes some 32,500 miles of mainline track, plus an additional 5,000 or so miles of track necessary to connect these routes to over 190 military installations and seaports. The Ports for National Defense (PND) Program The PND program identifies, maintains, and activates the necessary port infrastructure in peacetime, wartime, and during other military emergencies. U.S. forces often deploy through seaports to respond to conflicts overseas, with more than 90% of U.S. warfighters' equipment and supplies traveling by sea during major ground operations. During military contingencies, commercial seaports designated by the military as âstrategic portsâ are issued a Port Planning Order (PPO) by the U.S. DOTâs MARAD at the request of the SDDC. These orders specify which port facilities, staging areas, and berthing space DOD will require, and they establish timelines for access. As of March 1st, 2017, 24 https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/Planning/national_highway_system/
107 the SDDCTEA25 listed 22 strategic seaports currently within the CONUS, 17 of which are commercial ports and 5 are military (see Blower, 2009; GAO, 2013). In addition, it lists 27 âalternateâ or back-up seaports: offering a form of response resilience that may benefit both military and commercial cargo movement during major, including multiport, disruptions. These ports provide both staging areas and berthing facilities for military operations, typically requiring the use of non-military contracted labor for large scale deployments, including the supply of common-user sealift through the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA), the DODâs primary sealift mobilization program.26 During a major mobilization these âsurge sealiftâ forces include various types of ships, notably roll-on/roll-off ships (RO/ROs) such as large, medium-speed RO/ROs (LMSRs) designed to handle the loading and unloading of vehicular cargo, as well as other dry-cargo ships including container, heavy-lift, auxiliary crane, break-bulk, and specialty support vessels, tankers, and hospital ships (CBO, 2005). Past Performance Studies Several efforts have been made to address reported/anticipated shortcomings associated with future commercially- supported deployments. For the military, this includes several studies to ensure the readiness and resilience of the nationâs strategic seaports. Some of the issues identified in these studies remain relevant today. Trucking Issues: Truckers entering a port require a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card---a tamper-resistant, biometric credential to maritime workers requiring unescorted access to secure areas within port facilities and vessels, regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. DOD policy (DTM 09-012, 2009) authorizes truck drivers with a TWIC and a bill of lading unescorted access to DOD installations without additional background checks at the port gate. However, bills of lading may not always be available when going for a pickup, and long lines at port gates are not uncommon at many of the nationâs seaports during heavy shipping periods or periods of raised threat level. The arrival of military convoys can add considerably to such delays for commercial traffic. Permits are required for vehicles and vehicle combinations using public highways that exceed a stateâs legal width, length, height and weight limits. Height and weight limits are usually of most concern to state DOTs, with many states reluctant to grant highway permits for overweight cargo vehicles, especially if their loads can be divided among more than one vehicle. However, during military emergencies the Major Army Command (MACOM) Commander may get a waiver if a load is certified as essential to national defense, and SDDCTEA has been successful in obtaining permissions to allow "marked military equipment or materiel" to be transported on the Interstate System without the need for re-assembly of loads to more than one vehicle, as long as state bridge restrictions are not violated.27 The larger these vehicles are, and the longer the convoys they are part of, the more the impact on other highway traffic. And the heavier they are, the more possible pavement damage. Rail Transportation Issues: Railcar transport can also experience challenges during military deployments, notably in the transport of very large or heavy military equipment. The STRACNET connects major Army installations, depots and ports of embarkation by rail. But while the network accommodates some 86% of DOD equipment types and 99% of individual pieces of equipment in the DOD inventory, these clearances are only valid for selected routes and sometimes only at severely 25 https://www.sddc.army.mil/sites/TEA/Functions/SpecialAssistant/Pages/PortsNationalDefense.aspx 26 All major US flag carriers are enrolled and more than 90 percent of the US flag dry cargo fleet is covered under its contingency commitments through which the DOD requests a percentage of a commercial companyâs fleet capacity. 27 https://www.sddc.army.mil/sites/TEA/Functions/Deployability/TransportabilityEngineering/MODES/HighwayTransport/Pages /CONUS.aspx
108 restricted speeds. The height and width of a loaded railcar during deployments is generally limited to the AAR- developed dimensions. However, a load wider than a flatcar or a combined load plus flatcar height greater than 15 feet, 1 inch above the top of the rails is considered a "dimensional load", requiring the railroad companies involved to perform clearance checks for the entire distance of a shipment before it begins its journey. Such clearance checks may delay transport if, as is usual, they are performed during normal working hours.28 Military rail car movements are most efficient if moved as part of dedicated unit trains, which may take some time to put together if suitable cars are poorly positioned. For example, according to Pint et al (2017), Fort Drum in New York (the origination point for freight corridor #10 described in this report) has two infantry brigade combat teams which typically require four 65-car trains to deploy to a port, necessitating a request for CSX-operated trains two weeks in advance. While commercial cars can handle most of a combat teamâs equipment, DODX rail cars are necessary for transporting Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTTs) and Palletized Load System (PLS) equipment. Mixed car convoy construction can be a challenge. Pint et al (2017) report a 40-car minimum is required to get equipment moved by dedicated unit train. If there is less equipment to be moved truck transport is often preferable, as it can take two to three times longer for the equipment to be delivered âmanifestâ, i.e. as part of a larger rail move assembled along with cars from other customers. Military moves by rail typically occur in unit trains. An interview with a Class I railroad indicated it typically would like two weeksâ notice to arrange empty railcar availability for such military equipment transport. Prior to the movement, track inspectors go out to make sure the rail route is ready to handle the shipment. The railcars used may be specialty cars provided by US DODX29 (e.g., to transport tanks using 6 axle specialty cars)30, or by commercial cars (open top cars and gondolas, box cars, TOFC/COFC, and specialty cars)31 arranged via the TTX railcar pooling company. A request for a rail shipment comes after a bid is placed with the SDDC, which establishes a Required Delivery Date (RDD) with the railroad. Daily communications occur between the SDDC and the railroad leading up to and during these unit train moves. Communication between the railroad and the military contact at the seaport is also needed to ensure availability of stevedore labor to unload trains. Military moves are given priority by the railroad when requested. The level of within route congestion, if any, often depends on seasonality. Navigable Waterway Issues: For seaports with lengthy navigation channels, safely navigating deployed or returning vessels amongst large volumes of commercial traffic, like petroleum and chemical tankers transporting hazardous cargos to shore-side facilities, and small commercial traffic such as fishing vessels, could be challenging. If the steady growth in international trade projected through U.S. ports comes to pass this represents a considerable cargo-handling challenge for the nationâs marine transportation system during military traffic surges. An example is the busy, and in places confined, 42-mile Sabine-Neches waterway serving the Port of Beaumont, TX, where the U.S. Armyâs 842nd Transportation Battalion has worked closely with its federal partners, including the Coast Guard and the FBI as well as with state and local security partners, to coordinate the safe navigation of military cargo to and from the ocean (Kramek, 2013). 28https://www.sddc.army.mil/sites/TEA/Functions/Deployability/TransportabilityEngineering/MODES/RailTransport/Pages/default. aspx 29 DODX is the reporting mark for the United States Department of Defense Military Traffic Management Command. 30 Defense Transportation Regulation â Part II 28 October 2016: Chapter 202. Cargo Routing and Movement: âDefense Freight Railway Interchange Fleet (DFRIF)â. 31 Defense Transportation Regulation â Part III. Mobility. Appendix AA. Rail Operations. June 2016: âmulti-level, caboose, heavy- duty, and trailer/container on flatcarâ.
109 Within-Port Cargo Staging Areas: The availability of within-port cargo staging areas was seen by those interviewed as a âcritical infrastructure impedimentâ to rapid cargo throughput of either military or commercial cargo during the early build-up to OIF deployment. Adding new staging capacity is difficult because competition for waterfront real estate is intense and suitable new land acquisition problematic. In some cases, empty containers must be stored on needed terminal space for staging cargo. In recent years a variety of approaches have been used by ports, including stacking containers, using off-port storage centers, and moving port business offices outside the port area to make more room. Other options include extending port gate opening hours and using information technology to signal that an alternative port could accept additional cargo. And congestion caused by a lack of on-dock and staging area space is likely to get worse as economies of scale cause the size of modern container ships to increase, with vessel-carrying capacities now well in excess of 10,000 TEUs. Logistical Aspects of Supply Chain Resilience Prior to any actual movement of a commodity or product, a good deal of cargo identification, allocation, loading and documentation, as well as the sourcing of movement assets (of trucks, trains, inland barges, and ships), takes place. Resilience issues include concerns for the best location(s) from which to source and match up specific supplies or equipment with specific unit requirements, and where to go for these supplies should one or more planned resource locations or inventories become inaccessible or insufficient for any reason. A specific SDDC Transportation Battalion (TBN) is responsible for assisting the military units being deployed by ensuring that the equipment to be transported to a seaport is best configured for loading onto the ships that will transport it. There are five such TBNs located within CONUS, each sending personnel to assist at both the military installations and the SPOEs within its jurisdiction, as well as coordinating with multiple seaports involved in large military deployments. During a contingency, this activity leads to the creation of PPOs that ensure both enough space for arriving military equipment dockside, and a sufficient number of vessel berths for the outbound ships receiving this equipment. Among the lessons learned from deployments associated with OIF are those reported in a short 2004 article in the Army Logistician, emphasizing the importance of both strong inter-agency communication as well as the value of training exercises and supporting material: âThe 842nd Transportation Battalion takes a proactive role in ensuring that units know what they are doing when they deploy. Before a deployment begins, the 842d visits the units to help them plan and prepare. They conduct seminars and training and participate in exercises and conferences. They consult with unit commanders, division transportation officers, unit movement officers, representatives of installation transportation offices, prospective liaison officers, and port operators in order to begin the process of matching unit requirements with port capabilities. The battalion has developed a briefing that focuses on the requirements a unit must meet when preparing its cargo for vessel transport and highlights lessons learned from previous missions. This briefing often stimulates a two-way information exchange, which serves as a foundation for planning and minimizes problems later in the mission. The 842d also has developed a Deployment Handbook, complete with visual aids, that is small enough to fit into a soldierâs cargo pocket and contains guidance on preparing cargo for movement to a port.â (Army Logistician, 2004: page 21). Cargo Scheduling and Tracking Software As with most of todayâs freight movement, moving military materials and equipment requires the latest in freight planning and scheduling software, using high speed computing and associated information, notably asset location and tracking, technology. The U.S. Armyâs Transportation Coordinators - Automated Information for Movements System II (TC-AIMS II)32 software system is used for scheduling convoy movements over the U.S. highway system, 32 http://www.usarmyamis.army.mil/Systems/TC-AIMS/tcaimsii_system.html
110 allowing the DMC to control the density of military traffic at any given time on all state roads, freeways, and Interstates. SDDCTEA also uses the Intelligent Road/Railroad Information Server (IRRIS)33, a real-time, web-based tool that enables users to obtain timely information about road conditions, construction, incidents, and weather conditions that might interfere with the rapid deployment of people, equipment, and munitions. Within Port Operations and Uses of the Commercial Fleet As noted earlier in this report, upon receipt of military movement requirements, the USTRANSCOMâs SDDC oversees military deployments, assigning workload to military ocean terminals and contracted commercial port facilities, and taking responsibility for the âstrategic flow of deploying and redeploying forces, unit equipment, and sustainment supply in the SPOEsâ (JCSa, 2013). On the ocean side of such military deployments, USTRANSCOMâs MSC has the primary responsibility for ensuring that these vessels arrive to meet the deploying units at the selected SPOEs, by an arrival time specified in a port call order. Ships belonging to or leased from commercial carriers by MSC34 carry out the overseas transport of equipment and supplies. Sealift assets available to the DOD consist of ships belonging to the MSC; ships in the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), which are owned and maintained by MARAD; and commercial ships that have been committed to the VISA. This commercial fleet support is essential to rapid military deployments, moving, for example, 63% of all military cargo during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (Lyons, 2016). This commercial fleet also provides both container and break bulk âliner serviceâ on scheduled trade routes in support of sustained military (re)deployments.35 Loading times for ships vary widely, from as little as two days for a fast sealift ship to more than five days for some of the larger container ships (CBO, 2005, Table 2). âLast minuteâ disruptions to the scheduled arrival of either landside or waterside vehicles/vessels can further exacerbate such delays and increase the costs they impose on shippers and/or their commercial carriers. Issues Associated with Ensuring Force Package Integrity Ensuring force package integrity when staging and stowing a deploying unitâs cargo is a requirement that can impact all the above concerns. The need to deliver complete combat units to a theater of war can pose significant additional logistics problems for within-port commercial operations, requiring not only extensive staging areas and loading equipment suitable for moving large and heavy vehicles, but also a seaport labor force trained in handling such non- containerized freight, typically under heavy security. This is also a significant departure from the practice of maximizing available square footage on a vessel, as might occur during normal commercial operations, requiring suitable training as well as coordination with port labor and stevedore services and any commercial rail and truck carriers being used. This ensures that a specific force package finds its way intact onto a pre-designated ship (Army Logistician, 2004). Without suitable training, on-the-day congestion created by rapidly executed PPOs could lead to potentially expensive delays to commercial as well as military cargo movements. Communications and Informational Aspects of Supply Chain Resilience A good deal of communication, much of it in real time, needs to take place among the various military, civilian, and commercial agents involved in the mobilization of military units. During a national security emergency and depending on state law either the governor or his/her designated agency representatives may activate local, state, or regional EOCs. The EOCs provide continuous communication, coordination and resource support during the deployment process. This includes provision of resources in support of both the response and recovery phases of an emergency. Past supply chain-based communications and information-sharing deficiencies identified by MARAD (as reported in BTS, 2018) and Stribling (2009) included the need for an in-transit cargo tracking capability, and up-to-date 33 https://www.sddc.army.mil/sites/TEA/Functions/SpecialAssistant/Pages/IRRIS.aspx 34 MARAD may also supply ships to support MSC deployment activities. 35 Requirements for additional liquid cargo carriers may also be activated by MARAD, using Voluntary Tanker Agreements (VTAs) with contracted commercial shipping companies.
111 information sharing protocols among trucking firms, railroads, port operators, USTRANSCOM and its deploying units, and the non-DOD federal agencies involved in port regulation and monitoring. This information sharing was needed on the composition, scheduling, port access requirements, cargo staging area locations and special handling needs associated with specific military unit moves. All this activity can place a burden on the IT resources used to move commercial cargos. Inter-Agency Coordination and Cooperation Keever and Soutuyo (FHWA, 2005) reviewed in detail (and stressed the importance of) DOD/DOT coordination activity, producing an FHWA-supported guide for state and local government agencies involved in military deployments. They identified six âkey agenciesâ or agency types that need to be involved in such deployments: the state DOT; state and local departments of public safety and law enforcement; the SPOE; the military units deploying; state, regional and local emergency management agencies; and the stateâs DMC. The DMC is housed within the National Guard and helps to plan, permit, and provide Convoy Movement Orders, and coordinate overland convoy movements to and from the seaport of embarkation. This includes obtaining the necessary permits for hauling oversized and overweight vehicles and equipment over public roads.36 In addition to direct contact between a DMC and a stateâs civil agency officials during an emergency or other abnormal situation, the seaport and other civil authorities may also need to have contact with a Port Support Activity (PSA) officer, who is a member of the deploying unitâs originating military installation. Within the port, this onsite PSA representative reports to the SDDC and is responsible for, among other things, ensuring that equipment to be shipped out is properly marked, labeled, and prepared for loading, and for communicating any changes in port status back to the TBNs. On notification of a deployment, port officials and civilian support agencies will also meet with PSA officers to establish joint military/civilian/federal EOC priorities and communications channels, coordinate convoy operations including use of port labor and cargo staging areas and confirm port security requirements. In-Transit Visibility of Cargos and Cargo Handling Assets With almost 90% of military cargo lifts provided by commercial carriers, both inter-agency co-coordination and ITV of both surface lift and sealift assets is needed to ensure an efficient and sustainable supply chain. The efficiency of this supply chain necessarily impacts the commercial cargo traffic passing through the port at the same time, with both on-dock and within channel traffic congestion a concern. USTRANSCOM maintains and updates detailed procedures for moving these cargos into and through seaports (USTRANSCOM, 2014-2016) and attempts to resolve transportation or logistics conflicts during deployments with ITV reporting via its IGC system, including communication with deploying units, port and terminal operators, commercial transportation service providers, and service/supply depots. A variety of AITs are used to keep track of both in-transit as well as scheduled cargo details, âsuch as bar codes, magnetic strips, integrated circuit cards, optical laser discs (optical memory cards or compact discs), satellite tracking, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags used for marking or âtaggingâ individual items, equipment, air pallets, or containersâ (JCS, 2013a, page IV-14). Kramek (2013) provides the following example of using AIT to improve the in-transit visibility of military cargo movements within the Port of Beaumont, Texas: 36 See https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop05029/chapter_2.htm NB. Some information in this report is dated.
112 âThe USNS Red Cloud, a 950-foot large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off military cargo ship that spans the length of nearly three football fields, has just crossed through the Sabine pass and is transiting northbound for the Port of Beaumont. In the port, the Armyâs U.S. SDDC 842nd Transportation Battalion is feverishly working with stevedores, Port representatives, its interagency partners to ready the more than 1,650 trucks, heavy tracked vehicles, and helicopters, as well as a port opening package that enables the landing of all the equipment for an infantry brigade that will be loaded aboard Red Cloud. Also working to organize this outload, though much less visible, is the Armyâs global logistics management system (LMS), which allows the Army an ITV on all its equipment from the depot to the field. LMS information is entered with handheld wireless scanners and via passive scanners for shipments containing RFID tags, which is all made possible by the 842ndâs wireless network.â The report also cautioned: âA cyber disruption here would impact almost 50 percent of all military cargo bound for overseas contingency operations and impact the U.S. militaryâs ability to respond to crisis or conflict. Infiltration of the Armyâs LMS network would impact not just the Port of Beaumont but the Armyâs worldwide logistics operations and allow adversaries to gain visibility on the movement of Army cargo at all modes of the supply chain, from truck to rail to ocean carriers.â Should such a disruption occur it would necessarily also impact the commercial operations within the port, whether such operations were directly or indirectly involved in the military moves. Regulatory and Institutional Aspects of Supply Chain Resilience The process of military supply chain operation and management is highly orchestrated, subject to extensive rules and regulations to support efficient, technologically-advanced, and closely monitored activity. Within the DOD, the USTRANSCOM has the overall responsibility for managing the movement of military personnel, equipment and supplies during large scale military deployments. Under the USTRANSCOM umbrella, the SDDC handles cargo movements overland and within ports, and the MSC handles cargo movements by sea. However, as specified in the US DODâs 2013 publication âThe Defense Transportation Systemâ, numerous other government agencies, including non-DOD agencies, may play a part in a military deployment, requiring significant coordination among different branches of federal, state and local governments. This includes roles for various branches of the DOT and DHS. Each of these agencies needs visibility of action and asset utilization plans involving the nationâs seaport and terminal operators and mode-specific (road, rail, water) commercial carriers. Example Case Study: Port of Philadelphia, PA The Port of Philadelphia, PA (re-branded as PhilaPort in May 2017, and previously named the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, or PRPA) has operated as one of the nationâs strategic military seaports since 2002. The port is located close to two of the U.S. Army's largest repair sites at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, PA, and Tobyhanna Army Depot in Mount Pocono, while the Susquehanna depot just outside Harrisburg, PA is one of the largest DOD distribution warehouses in the world. The seaport is also part of the effort by the federal government to develop what it calls âAgile Portsâ, which house terminals that can handle major military cargo surges without disrupting normal civilian business. Physical Processes The seaportâs Packer and Tioga Terminals have been used in past deployments/re-deployments (returning cargos), with up to three berths assigned to handle military cargo, along with 45 acres of staging area space set aside between these two terminals (June 2017 interview). The first big Army shipment was in May 2006 â some 700 pieces of heavy military equipment, including 20 helicopters and scores of fuel tank trucks and other vehicles of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, based in Fort Drum, NY. This was followed in July of 2006 by a series of shipments from the
113 Army National Guard's 42d Infantry Rainbow Division (headquartered at the Glenmore Road Armory in Troy, NY), consisting of helicopters, trucks, weapons, heavy equipment and supplies bound for Iraq. Workers at the portâs Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia working simultaneously on a military vessel and three commercial ships, with cargo loading of the military vessel handled by some 150 members of the International Longshoremen's Association. In September 2009 the port authorityâs Packer Avenue Marine Terminal supported the deployment needs of the 10th Mountain Division, headquartered at Ft. Drum, NY to Southwest Asia; and in October 2009 the port authorityâs Tioga Marine Terminal in Port Richmond handled military cargo heading back from Iraq to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard facilities at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA (JOC, 2009). More recently, on November 8, 2011, the SDDCâs 841st Transportation Battalion performed the final leg of a major re-deployment mission from Afghanistan: discharging 258 pieces of U.S. Army cargo, including 33 helicopters, 225 containers, and various rolling stock from the commercial vessel M/V FREEDOM, at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal (AJOT, 2011). Logistical Processes To accommodate deployment cargo surges, the port can stay open to handle military cargo arrivals and can handle some re-scheduling on a day-to-day basis. During contingency-initiated surges in overland military cargo movements the military shipments are given Level 1 priority. During less critical/immediate movement needs, such as force sustainment periods, military movements may be assigned a Level 2 priority by commercial carriers. Regular day-to- day communications are by Internet and cell phone. The Army National Guard sends its engineers to cargo marshalling areas to ensure/help with correct equipment use. (An example was given of needing to use an old railcar as a cargo ramp to handle large load items). Reported or expected delays at a port or elsewhere may lead to convoys being parked, with state and local traffic authority notifications issued, and close coordination with state (New York and/or Pennsylvania) Mobility Coordinators is needed here during rapid, multi-sourced deployments. Truck size (including vertical bridge clearance limits) and weight issues are common during a highway-supported mobilization. Request for rail shipments comes via an SDDC/USTRANSCOM bid, which establishes an RDD with the railroad. CSX, for example, ran unit trains from New Yorkâs Fort Drum into the portâs Greenwich rail yard in South East Philadelphia, with offloading adjacent to the seaport in support of OIF. CSX usually requires two weeksâ notice to arrange empty railcar availability for similar military equipment moves, with moves typically occurring in unit trains. Track inspectors go out to make sure a rail route is suitable to handle such train movements. Railcars may be specialty cars provided by US DODX (e.g., to transport tanks using 6-axle specialty cars)37, or by commercial cars (open top cars and gondolas, box cars, TOFC/COFC, and specialty cars38, arranged via TTX railcar pooling company). Within the seaport, military ships also get priority at pre-assigned berths. Emergency re-berthing of vessels may also need to be accommodated. Some 30 military SDDC personnel have entered the port in the past to assist with military cargo handling. Helicopter-to-ship loading, for example, requires the presence of military personnel.39 Experience in handling military vehicles among the portâs commercial labor force is also an important requirement, and returning ships may need to have their equipment cleaned of any sand or organic matter, as an environmental safety concern. Some assistance with moving military cargo had been provided in the past by labor from the Port of Charleston, SC. However, to bolster the port's effort to get more military business, the Delaware River Maritime Enterprise Council, a nonprofit agency created by the state legislature, arranged for union members to be trained to âdrive the equipment, 37 See, for example, Defense Transportation Regulation â Part II 28 October 2016: Chapter 202. Cargo Routing And Movement: âDefense Freight Railway Interchange Fleet (DFRIF)â 38 See, for example, Defense Transportation Regulation â Part III. Mobility. Appendix AA. Rail Operations. June 2016: âmulti-level, caboose, heavy-duty, and trailer/container on flatcarâ 39 Mentioned during an interview was a one-off instance of a tank needing to be transferred from a barge to a railcar.
114 load it on a ship and lash it downâ at the United Defense Ground Systems Division plant in York, PA. (Holcomb, 2006). Communications and Information In past deployments the military has informed the seaport about the need for deployment support approximately one month ahead of time. As a âlandlord port,â the port authority then develops a cargo-handling plan within 48 hours of receiving a PPO and informs its terminal operators of the need to process a scheduled deployment. Daily communications among SDDC, the railroad and seaport were mentioned as being important to avoid any fort-to-port delays, as well as ensuring the availability of stevedore labor to unload the trains upon arrival next at the seaport. Regular day-to-day communications are by Internet and cell phone. The seaport has a 900 MHz radio system that might be used as a backup if these technologies went down. Institutional Processes A Port Readiness Sub-committee meets periodically and prepares quarterly readiness reports dealing with the portâs ability to handle military cargo deployments. The port has also participated in National Port Readiness Network meetings in the past.