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American Forces Press Service

U.S. Ship Returns Polish Combat Cargo From Middle East

American Forces Press Service

NAPLES, Italy, April 27, 2006 The U.S. cargo ship MV Cape Decision stopped in Szczecin, Poland, last week and returned combat equipment used by Polish military forces in Iraq.

The 681-foot roll-on/roll-off ship off-loaded more than 49,000 square feet of cargo belonging to the Polish army April 19-20. The cargo included more than 160 trucks, six helicopters, tanks, trailers and more than 100 containers of supplies.

U.S. Military Sealift Command ships have been a familiar site in this and other Baltic seaports since 2003, when U.S. ships began using them to load coalition cargo bound for the Middle East and for use in Operation Iraqi Freedom. An important partner in OIF, Polish military forces took part in the initial stages of the operation, which began in 2003.

At the height of its engagement in the newly democratized country, Poland had 2,500 soldiers deployed to the region. Since 2003, U.S. ships have moved nearly 430,000 square feet, or seven and a half football fields, of combat equipment for Poland.

"This is indicative of the enduring relationship the U.S. military has with Poland and our coalition partners in Europe," said Navy Capt. David Wright, commander of Sealift Logistics Command Europe. The command is responsible for overseeing the movement of U.S. Navy cargo and logistics ships in the U.S. European Command theater. "It is also a great example of the important role Military Sealift Command plays in the U.S. and coalition forces' efforts in Iraq," Wright said.

Since the beginning of the global war on terrorism and operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Military Sealift Command has moved more than 88,634,187 square feet of combat equipment for troops in theaters worldwide. That is equal to 932,991 SUVs, which, if lined up bumper-to-bumper, would stretch nearly 2,800 miles from New York City to Los Angeles. The command's ships also have delivered more than 8,808,380,000 gallons of fuel. That is enough fuel to fill the New York's Empire State Building nearly 32 times.

(From a Sealift Logistics Command Europe news release.)

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