840th Transportation Battalion
The Izmir-based 840th Transportation Battalion manages DoD freight operations in Turkey. There are currently two major and two minor American military units assigned to Izmir. The 425th Air Base Squadron, The United States Army Element and the 840th US Army Transportation Battalion. the United States Army Element. This unit is responsible for the growing number of US Army Personnel in the Izmir Area. The 840th Trans is responsible for all POVs coming in and going out of Turkey.
The 840th U.S. Army Transportation Battalion is a separate unit located in Izmir. They are part of the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC). It is a small unit, with fewer than twenty personnel, but a busy one, responsible for traffic management in over a dozen countries in the region. Their mission is to provide quality, responsive, common-user ocean terminal service support and traffic management for all Department of Defense cargo transiting the ports of Turkey, the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. This area stretches from Libya to Jordan, and north to the countries that border the Black Sea. In recent months, unit personnel have deployed frequently throughout their Area of Operations in support of Joint and Allied missions and exercises. Support to ALLIED FORCE was a total force effort by USTRANSCOM. MTMC operated at two U.S. seaports and eight European seaports in support of the deployment and onward movement of unit equipment, supplies, and ammunition. As NATO air strikes began against Serbia, MTMC began transshipment operations at seaports closest to the strike area. The cargo was transported in vessels managed and directed by MTMC in support of Task Force Eagle and Task Force Shining Hope, the military and humanitarian programs (respectively) to aid Kosovar refugees. The first major evidence of this support came in the form of the SS Osprey, which arrived 02 May 1999 in Durres, Albania. The Osprey's arrival signaled a critical surface transportation benchmark in the fielding and supply of American forces in Albania. The Osprey, a MSC charter, carried 60 vehicles, or 11,000-square feet of Air Force cargo. It was loaded by MTMC's 839th Transportation Battalion, Livorno, Italy and unloaded in Durres by MTMC's 840th Transportation Battalion, Izmir, Turkey. Unloading of the Osprey took place without incident.
One of the missions of the 840th Trans Bn within the Izmir community is the management of the global contract for shipping Privately Owned Vehicles (POVs) into and out of Turkey. The Military Traffic Management Command on 01 March 2000 added Turkey to its Global Privately Owned Vehicle Contract. American Auto Logistics Inc. of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., the single contractor, now handles all aspects of vehicle movements from vehicle processing centers in Incirlik and Izmir and a quality-of-life center in Ankara. The contract means service members saw immediate improvements in vehicle shipping. For example, the contractor's Izmir facility is new and has state-of-the-art equipment. Members previously used a 50-year-old facility 15 miles away down bad road. At Incirlik, the changeover was almost transparent because a temporary contract there called for the mover to do everything except agriculture inspections. On March 1, 840th Battalion inspectors turned over that last duty to American Auto Logistics. Personnel assigned to the Office of Defense Cooperation/American Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul saw the biggest changes. The new quality-of-life center in Ankara performs the pickups and deliveries by appointment. Prior to the contract, vehicle owners had to fly or drive to Izmir for processing.
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