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Navy Cargo Handlers Report for Predeployment Training

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070405-23
Release Date: 4/5/2007 8:12:00 PM

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

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (NNS) -- About 240 Navy cargo handlers reported for duty April 5 for four weeks of predeployment training with the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) at Naval Weapons Station, Cheatham Annex in Williamsburg, Va.

These Navy Reservists are being recalled to active duty as NAVELSG “Port Group Foxtrot” to fulfill a cargo-handling mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While this is the first deployment for most of these Reservists, this is the sixth rotation of Navy cargo handlers mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Navy Reservists will receive extensive predeployment training for this mission, including small arms training with a fire arms training simulator; live-fire range qualifications; perimeter defense; chemical, biological, and radiological defense; combat lifesaving; and heavy forklift (KALMAR) training.

The primary NAVELSG battalion being recalled is Navy Cargo Handling Battalion (NCHB) 5, which is headquartered in Tacoma, Wash., with surface and maintenance companies in Portland, Ore., and Tacoma, Wash.

Leading the port group is NCHB 5 commanding officer, Cmdr. Ed Chevalier.

“The Sailors of NCHB 5 from Tacoma and Portland as well as other units who make up Port Group Foxtrot are rarin' to go,” Chevalier said. “They have been training for the very kind of work we are expected to execute their entire Reserve careers and now they get their chance to serve. For all, this will be one of the most fulfilling and challenging experiences of our lives and we can't wait to get over there and make a difference.”

Additionally, the Sailors come primarily from Navy Air Cargo Handling Battalion, Alpha Company, Sacramento, Calif., and Navy Ordnance Reporting and Handling Battalion 1 companies in Earle, N.J., Bronx, N.Y. and Avoca, Pa.

These Sailors received official notification of their mobilization in January and are expected to deploy for six to seven months.



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