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Multi Modal Yard redeploys over 17.2M lbs of cargo

July 18, 2012

By Sgt. Gregory Williams

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan. (July 10, 2012) -- When the Ground Lines of Communication, or GLOC, closed, the Army was forced to use air assets in its redeployment process. This challenge was met head on with the Army and Air Force working together to move cargo as effectively as possible.

Contributing to the redeployment mission, the 822nd Movement Control Detachment out of Boston, Mass., opened Kandahar Airfield's first Multi-Modal Yard, which facilitates and centralizes cargo movement from KAF to the United States. The Multi-Modal Yard has moved approximately over 17.2 million lbs of equipment in a five month period, which has contributed to the biggest air lift operation since the Cold War.

"What amazes me about this mission is how within our detachment we have all the qualified personnel who can run this yard efficiently by themselves," Staff Sgt. Matthew Wissell, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Multi Modal Yard, 822nd MCT said. "Our unit was totally self-sustaining because we had transportation managers, a cargo specialist, and truck drivers, which is rare for a MCT to have."

The Multi Modal yard works with the Air Force's Alpha Yard and Mike Ramp to redeploy pallets, quad-cons, tri-cons, containers, and military vehicles back to the United States.

As many Forward Operating Bases close in anticipation of the drawdown, the Multi Modal yard has helped to make the redeployment process easier for units by helping them schedule joint inspections and palletizing cargo.

"Other yards would tell a unit they're responsible for scheduling appointments, moving cargo, rolling stock, and contacting the Air Force, but we say hey you've done your part outside the wire so let us take care of you," Sgt. Josemy Morales, a movement control supervisor, 822nd MCT said. "We're more customer service oriented and whatever we can do to make the transition from KAF back home easier, we'll do it."

The soldiers of the Multi Modal Yard have helped various units during their redeployment from KAF back to the states such as 10th Mountain Division, 25th Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division,14th Combat Engineer Battalion, and other smaller detachments.

"Everything that would normally go by convoy, when it comes to the Multi-Modal Yard we help redeploy it by air, which if it has to go we're going to get it to go," said Wissell. "We provide a service that's very unique and not available on KAF."

Even with the reopening of the GLOC, the 822nd MCT Multi-Modal Yard will continue to work 24 hours, 7 days a week to make sure units go home with everything they brought with them. Whether it's working with local national drivers or the Air Force, this detachment will make sure every unit reunites with their cargo.

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