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Navy Cargo Handlers Depart for Middle East

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061004-18
Release Date: 10/4/2006 1:54:00 PM

By Lt. Karin R. Burzynski, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- About 240 Navy cargo handlers departed for the Middle East from the air terminal at Naval Station Norfolk, Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Rear Adm. Sharon H. Redpath, Commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG), joined members of the NAVELSG headquarters staff at the terminal to attend the late-night departure.

“These Sailors and their families are our heroes. They are putting their lives on hold to serve their country in the most selfless way to provide critical combat service support to the warfighters,” said Redpath, who also serves as Vice Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

The reservists were mobilized in Aug., equipped and trained by the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) in Williamsburg, Va.

They will serve together as the NAVELSG “ECHO” rotation to perform port and air cargo-handling missions in Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). While this is the first mobilization for most of the Reservists with ECHO, this is the fifth rotation of Navy Cargo Handlers mobilized by NAVESLG for OIF.

The Navy Reservists completed four weeks of extensive predeployment training at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Cheatham Annex and nearby bases. The Sailors are primarily from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion (NCHB) 4 with headquarters in Charleston, S.C., and companies in Richmond, Va., Charlotte, N.C., and Columbia, S.C.

Additionally, they come from: Navy Air Cargo Handling Battalion, Echo Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; and Navy Ordnance Reporting and Handling Battalion 1, with companies in Earle, N.J., Bronx, N.Y., and Avoca, Pa.

NAVELSG is an operational force of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and is organized and staffed to deliver expeditionary logistics capabilities with mobilization-ready Navy Reserve Force Sailors and equipment to theater commanders in support of the national military strategy.

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