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Unit History

330th Transportation Battalion

The unit was originally constituted as the 2102nd Quartermaster Truck Company, Aviation and activated at Durand Airdrome, New Guinea on 15 October 1942. It participated in the Papua and New Guinea Campaigns until the US Sixth Army finally landed in Leyte in the Southern Philippine Islands on 20 October 1944. It then joined the Leyte Campaign in the retaking of the Southern Philippine Islands. After the surrender of Japan on 9 September, the company joined the occupation forces and was inactivated in Japan on 25 March 1945.

In August 1946, the Quartermaster Corps transferred its truck organizations to the Transportation Corps, and while on inactive status, the company was converted and redesignated the 2102nd Transportation Corps Truck Company. On 20 August 1948, it was redesignated as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 330th Transportation Highway Transport Group and allotted to the Organized Reserve Corps.

On 2 September 1948, the 330th Transportation Highway Transport Group was activated at Little Rock, Arkansas. On 9 July 1952, the Organized Reserve was reorganized as the Army Reserve. On 30 April 1953, it was reorganized and redesignated as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 330th Transportation Group, and inactivated at Little Rock on 1 December 1955. The very next year, it was again reactivated at Little Rock on 16 April 1956 and inactivated on 1 April 1959.

The 507th Transportation Group (Movement Control) at Fort Eustis, Virginia deployed to Vietnam in December 1965. On 1 July 1966, the 330th was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 330th Transportation Group and allotted to the Regular Army. It was activated at Fort Lee, Virginia on 26 July 1966.

Air-Land Battle Doctrine 1982, which eliminated the Field Army and Corps became the largest organizational command and the Movement Control Agency was assigned to echelon above corps, or theater commander for all movement in the Communication Zone (COMZ). All movements in the corps would be managed by movement control centers. The 49th Transportation Center was activated as the III Corps Movement Control Center at Fort Hood, Texas on April 1, 1982 and fell under the 13th Corps Support Command (COSCOM). The 330th Transportation Battalion moved from Fort Lee, Virginia to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to become the Movement Control Center for the XVIII Airborne Corps and fell under the 1st Corps Support Command.

Following the example in Germany, Italy and the United States created similar movement control organizations. The 14th Movement Control Battalion was activated in Vicenza, Italy on October 16, 1988. The 1st Theater Army Control Agency then provided command and control over the 14th and 39th Transportation Battalions and then the 27th Transportation Battalion became a V Corps asset. Stateside, the 49th Transportation Center supported III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas and the 330th Movement Control Center was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as an XVIII Airborne Corps movement control organization. The 1st Theater Army Control Agency in Germany was the only active duty theater level movement control agency with the 3rd Theater Army Control Agency assigned to the Army Reserves. Most of these movement control organizations would remain unchanged through the next wars and even survive the multifunctional restructuring of logistical organizations at the beginning of the next century.

A movement control center did not have the field staff, S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4, that a regular battalion headquarters had.

Operation Urgent Fury - Grenada 1983

On October 25, 1983, President Ronald Regan used the endangerment of the American college students as an excuse to invade the communist controlled island of Grenada. In the strategic picture, this little Caribbean island served as the staging base for Soviet Union and Cuba to stockpile arms and munitions for use in communist insurgencies throughout Central America. This was also the first test of JOPS. The National Command Authority turned to the Atlantic Command for planning and execution. Since the Atlantic Command was a Navy command, it turned to its Second Fleet Commander as the executive agent for the plan. The supporting Army corps for this mission was the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

JOPS consisted of both deliberate planning led by the G-3 Plans and crisis action (or hasty) planning led by the G-3 Operations. In concept, the G-3 Operations should invite the planning representative from the G-3 Plans when it activated the crisis action team, but due to the high level of secrecy in the planning of the invasion of Grenada, the XVIII Airborne Corps did not. Had it, the G-3 Planner would have informed the crisis action team that the generic plan for a small island contingency in the Caribbean only required a brigade sized task force. Without that input, the crisis action team improvised a contingency plan that involved the entire 82nd Airborne Division, minus the brigade on its way to Germany for a training exercise. The deployment plan consisted of turning on the deployment faucet and let it run until either the island no longer needed any more paratroopers or the 82nd Airborne Division ran out of a paratroopers.

As coincidence would have it, a Marine Expeditionary Unit was on its way to Lebanon to replace the Marines there. This task force was within sailing distance of Grenada when the planning began. To allow each service to participate, the Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf III, Commander of Joint Task Force 120, divided the island in half, giving the Marines the upper half and the Army the lower half. The 1st Ranger Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia would parachute in to seize Point Salines airport that was still under construction. The 82nd Airborne Division would then land on the runway and conduct a relief in place of the Rangers so they could return home. Since this was an island, the initial line of communication would be established by air.

Since this would be an air-land insertion for the 82nd Airborne Division, it required a departure and arrival airfield control group at each end. The 7th Transportation Bastion assigned a cargo transfer company to establish a departure airfield control group at Pope Air Force Base to move cargo to Green Ramp for the Air Force to load on the planes. The 82nd Division Support Command (DISCOM) established a provisional movement control center at the airport of embarkation because the majority of the 330th Movement Control Center was deployed on Exercise Bold Eagle. The provisional movement control center synchronized the deployment matching paratroopers and cargo with tail numbers on aircraft and developed the manifest lists of passengers on each aircraft.

Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield

As more truck assets began to arrive, this created a greater need for movement control. Third Army did not have an active duty theater movement control headquarters. The 330th Movement Control Center arrived with the 1st Corps Support Command but was the XVIII Airborne Corps movement control asset. So it created a provisional movement control battalion to provide movement control until the 318th Transportation Agency (Movement Control) arrived. This Army Reserve headquarters in New York City was mobilized on September 20 and arrived in October.

To shorten the distance that units had to move during the bombing phase, the plan was to bring up units from the rear. The 1st Cavalry Division from Assembly Area Horse to Tactical Assembly Area Wendy near King Khalid Military City from December 26 through January 17. There it would become a VII Corps asset. To move the division the 1st Corps Support Command consolidated its common user land transportation (CULT) assets into a Transportation Consolidation Center (TCC) located near the 1st Cavalry. The 330th Movement Control Center embedded movement control personnel in it to marry up the available assets with the movement requirements and produce the movement plan. What it did not do was provide command and control over movement assets. The only communication the 330th Movement Control Center had with the Transportation Consolidation Center was landline, which was unreliable due to interruptions. Without long range radios, it was not uncommon for the Movement Control Center to send courier 100 miles to deliver the latest movement priorities to the Transportation Consolidation Center.

Once the corps received their movement orders, they began planning their movement. A survey of the number and type of trucks available in the XVIII Airborne Corps revealed it had 123 HETs, 408 M915 tractors and approximately 325 5-ton cargo trucks. To complete the move in the required 14 days the Movement Control Center planners determined the corps required 550 HETs, 1,580 lowboys, 2,698 tractors and trailer combinations and more than 500 buses in place of 5-ton cargo trucks. This required an additional 320 HETs, 292 lowboys and 2,106 tractors and trailers from echelon above corps assets.1

The corps required 535 HET lifts, 1,793 lowboy lifts and 2,815 flatbed lifts, which exceeded its organic capability. The 22nd Support Command would provide 280 HET, 280 lowboy and 500 flatbed lifts during the 21-day period.

Since the XVIII Airborne Corps had to pass through the VII Corps to get to its offensive position west of VII Corps, this would create a mother of all traffic jams. At first the logistics planners considered building an overpass at the intersection, but this seemed impractical upon further study. So the solution was to schedule block times for the movement of each corps. The VII Corps had four hours per day on both the northern and southern routes, and since the XVIII Airborne Corps had the farthest to travel, it received 16 consecutive hours per day on the northern route and two eight-hour blocks on the southern route. The remaining three hours per day were dedicated to sustainment convoys.

The 330th Movement Control Center scheduled the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to move along the longer southern route, MSR Audi to Toyota and then up Sultan, because they required the fewest corps common user land transportation assets, since some of the elements could be airlifted to their tactical assembly areas. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division and 20th Engineers would take the shortest route; MSR Mercedes to Dodge. The problem was intersection of MSR Dodge and Sultan at Hafir al Batin. To avoid traffic jams, the Movement Control Center constructed movement tables that had one convoy passing the intersection before the next arrived.

Movement phase began early morning on January 17.

On January 17, the Transportation Consolidation Center at Pulaski was not working so the 330th Movement Control Center had to send a courier to Pulaski to tell the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to begin moving. Since the 1st Cavalry Division had not completed its movement this reduced the number of echelon above corps truck assets available. For unknown reasons though, the trucks that were available never made it to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment staging area. Fortunately more trucks became available the next day and the movement got back on schedule.

The plan assumed the trucks driving on the northern route could complete the move and return to the Transportation Consolidation Center pick up another load on the third day and trucks driving on the southern route would take five days to complete a round trip. In reality the northern route sometimes took as long as five days to complete and the southern route as long as seven. More often the delays were caused by the lack of material handling equipment at the receiving end to offload the equipment, and when offloaded, the trucks often waited for reform a convoy before returning. Consequently, the 330th Movement Control Center sent movement control teams to the destinations to locate common user land transportation trucks and send them on their way to the Transportation Consolidation Center. The 330th also made sure the convoys were well briefed and had a good command structure to ensure no delays.

Operation Uphold Democracy - Haiti

In 1990, the Government of Haiti held its first free election since 1934 and the people elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide as their president. The military junta, however, forced Aristead out of office with a military coup d’état in September 1991. Afterwards, Haitians began fleeing to the United States at great risk on anything that floated. Consequently, the United Nations imposed a trade embargo on Haiti in May 199, and on July 31, 1994, passed Resolution 940 to authorize any means to restore Aristead to the presidency. The United States had the green light to use any force necessary to restore democracy in this small Caribbean Island off its southern coast.

At that time, the United States Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) headquartered at Norfolk, Virginia still had responsibility for the Caribbean islands. It had been developing a deliberate contingency plan for Haiti since the ouster of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1986. By 1994, USLANTCOM had two operation plans on its shelf; OPLAN 2370 for a forced entry scenario and OPLAN 2380 for a permissive entry. When the United Nations passed Resolution, the appropriate commands began to revise and finalize their supporting plans for both options. The forced entry plan involved both an airborne and air assault by helicopters from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. The XVIII Airborne Corps had responsibility for the forced entry plan and would form Joint Task Force 180 around the 82nd Airborne Division and Joint Task Force 190 around the 10th Mountain Division and 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) for the permissive entry plan. The 1st Corps Support Command (COSCOM) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina would form the Joint Task Force Support Command (JTFSC). The force structure looked very similar to the one used for Somalia and since Haiti was one half of the island of Hispaniola, the joint task force again needed the 7th Transportation Group for port opening.

The military operation consisted of five phases. Phase I involved mission analysis, refining the contingency plans and rehearsals. Phase II (deployment) included establishing intermediate staging bases, and command control nodes, as well as conducting the initial entry. Phase III built up enough force structure to conduct military operations. Phase IV sustained the force. During Phase V, the forces in Haiti turned operations over to another element and would then redeploy. This was essentially all the same phases of operations for any other military operation. (McDuffie, "Force XXI Corps Support," Army Logistician, p.26)

Examining the plans, Brigadier General John M. McDuffie, Commander of the 1st Corps Support Command, established eight mission essential tasks for his logistics operation: (McDuffie, p. 27)

      1. Establish intermediate staging bases at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida and Great Inagua in the Bahamas for the deployment of the 82nd Aviation Task Force.
      2. Open the airport and seaport.
      3. Upon initial entry immediately establish key logistical nodes.
      4. Sustain the force.
      5. Expand the logistics template.
      6. Improve the quality of life on the ground with the logistical services.
      7. Support humanitarian assistance operations.
      8. Return all soldiers safely home.

During the final planning phase, the 7th Transportation Group sent two liaison officers to Fort Bragg. They informed the General McDuffie that they had 16 LCUs, which they incorrectly assumed were operational and McDuffie committed them to the operation. The Unit Status Reports (USR) of the 97th Transportation Company (Heavy Boat) did not accurately reflect the operational status of the boats. The 7th Group Commander, Colonel Daniel L. Labin called to explain that not all the LCU were operational, but the COSCOM Commander refused to change the plan and expected 7th Group to provide 16 operational LCUs. The 7th Group quickly brought down the Eastern Inspection Branch (EIB) to inspect the boats and determine what measures were required to make them operational. The group also brought down contractors to work around the clock to repair the boats at a cost of $2.8 million. The group identified the boats in the worst condition and had crews of the other boats borrow functional parts to fix theirs. This controlled substitution quickly evolved into cannibalization and LCU-2006 had lost so many parts that it would have to go to the shipyard to get ready. So Colonel Labin ordered it done.

While 7th Group prepared, the 330th Movement Control Center at Fort Bragg formed the Joint Movement Center (JMC) with augmentation from representatives from the Navy, Air Force, XVIII Airborne Corps and the Military Traffic Management Command. It answered directly to the Joint Task Force J-4. The 458th Transportation Detachment (Air Terminal Movement Control Team) from Belleville, Illinois was activated from the U.S. Army Reserves and arrived at Bragg 72 hours after its alert. This 35-person detachment augmented the Joint Movement Center and freed the non-Transportation Corps augmentees to return to the corps headquarters. The detachment also sent liaison officers at the Port of Jacksonville. The Joint Movement Center sent movement control teams to the Deployment Control Center at Pope Air Force Base and Port of Wilmington to monitor the movement of units and equipment through these critical nodes. The Joint Movement Center would coordinate the strategic transportation requirements with U.S. Transportation Command, validate the Time Phased Force Deployment Data and monitor the deployment.

As it had during Just Cause, the 403rd Transportation Company (Cargo Transfer) at Fort Bragg would accompany the 82nd Airborne Division and provide the Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group (A/DACG) at the international airport. The 46th Corps Support Group (Airborne) also from Bragg would follow by air with water purification capability, a fuel system supply point for aircraft and a 5,000-gallon fuel tanker. The rest of the force would deploy by sea.

The Joint Movement Control Forward assumed responsibility to build the redeployment TPFDD. The Unit Movement Officers (UMO) would develop their equipment lists and Transportation Coordinator-Automated Command and Control Information System (TC-ACCIS) labels for their equipment. Since the soldiers of the 330th Movement Control Center had never done anything like this, the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) sent down a team of TC-ACCIS experts to assist the Joint Movement Control Forward and help the units build their unit data. They built the TPFDD using the Marine Air Ground Task Force II Deployment Support System II (MDSS II) and then downloaded it into JOPES.

The United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) had been created to enforce the peace in Croatia by Resolution 743 in 1992, but moved into Bosnia to try and reduce the bloodshed. On October 9, 1992, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 816 ordering a no fly zone over central Bosnia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries began enforcing it April the next year. Increasing Serbian war crimes caused NATO planes to begin bombing Serbian military positions in April 1994. Serbs took UN observers hostage resulting in more bombing. In March 1995, the Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH) began planning the withdrawal of UNPROFOR.

To accomplish this required a detailed study of the road, tunnel and bridge capacities in the mountainous country and four year of civil war had destroyed many bridges and collapsed tunnels. Major General William Farmen, Commander for Support AFSOUTH, needed the best movement planner to develop retrograde plan. He chose Colonel John C. Race, who as the Commander of the 330th Movement Control Center during Desert Storm had supervised the move the XVIII Airborne Corps. After two and a half months, Colonel Race's ad hoc team of around 20 planners had planned to withdraw the UNPROFOR to the port of Spit in Croatia and evacuate it by sea.

On 16 October 1999, the battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 330th Transportation Battalion.

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) A2

The Secretary of Defense determined that the units in Afghanistan would rotate every six months. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) from the 82nd Airborne Division was scheduled to relieve Task Forces Mountain and Rakkasan. This rotation saw greater centralization in command and control of assets in Afghanistan. The XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, sent a command and control element to Bagram in late May 2002. It established Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 180, commanded by LTG Dan K. McNeill, XVIII Airborne Corps Commander. It became the forward joint headquarters in Afghanistan for CENTCOM. All the task forces in theater had to answer to it. CJTF 180’s Joint Logistics Command (JLC) established the command and control for the logistical operations. Previously, units like the 613th MCT coordinated directly with CFLCC at Doha. From then on the movement control teams had to coordinate through the Corps Transportation Officer.2

Up to that moment, transportation operation had fallen into a routine at the three air ports of debarkation: K2, Kandahar and Bagram. The summer months also saw the arrival of an additional infantry brigade and the transferring of pre-positioned equipment into Kuwait in preparation for what would become Operation Iraqi Freedom. This activity in the Gulf region crowded the already limited transportation capability so the line of communication from Europe into Afghanistan had to shift north into bases in Uzbechistan. Larger aircraft would deliver to those bases where it was broken down into loads on C130s bound for Bagram or Kandahar.3

The XVIII Airborne Corps brought an MCT and a cargo document team from their 403rd CTC to Bagram. The MCT then began to prioritize cargo. They wanted Tardoff’s A/DACG platoon to answer to them. Soon four organizations were trying to run the air field. The MCT, a cargo document team, the A/DACG, the USAF ATOC, and MPs (running customs) bumped heads to see who establish the priorities of cargo and where to move it. Tardoff had been running the APOD too long at Bagram to welcome the intrusion of an MCT. To complicate matters more, the USAF rotated their ATOCs every three months. This required the A/DACG personnel to develop a working relationship with a new unit. Somehow everyone agreed to cooperate.4

The advance party of 11 soldiers of the 330th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control), commanded by LTC Robert W. Petrillo, deployed from Fort Bragg on 7 June. The 330th MCB established its movement control center (MCC) at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base. Another 13 soldiers from the 330th MCB arrived in July bringing the number up to 24. Rather than deploy the entire Headquarters Detachment of 51 personnel, the command was able to rely on the CJTF 180 JLC for much of the staff support. This allowed the battalion to field more movement controllers. For example the chief of Surface Movements Section also served as the battalion S-4. He performed the S-4 as required. Many of the soldiers were cross-trained to serve as movement control as well as their normal staff jobs.5

The 330th MCB provided centralized command and control for the movement control teams at the three APODs and commercial truck contract as part of the Distribution Management Center (DMC) of the CJTF 180. The DMC acted as the distribution management support element for the JLC and provided staff supervision for the materiel management center and the MCC. The DMC planned and coordinated the time-definite delivery of units, material and equipment to Afghanistan. The MCC coordinated the time phased force deployment data with USTRANSCOM for the reception and redeployment of units according to the priorities set by CJTF CJ-4. The MCC assumed the responsibility to maintain status of all shipments and their proper destinations. This took the burden off of the MCTs. Doctrine, according to FM55-10 Movement Control, addressed controlling truck operations in the Corps rear of linear operations. Logistics operations in Afghanistan were anything but linear. The MCC had to find new procedures for movement control operations for the CJTF 180. As the 330th MCB learned through trial and error, these procedures changed daily. The 613th MCT had operated almost autonomously. With their autonomy significantly challenged, the 613th MCT looked forward to going home.6

The MCC established a system for tracking shipments that were deemed critical. They posted a “track, trace and expedite” spreadsheet on their website. This provided both logisticians and combat units up to date information on the status of their critical shipments. The MCTs could then focus on managing, tracking and reporting containers moving through their base camps.7

To manage the ITV and total asset visibility (TAV), the MCC had 14 computers, both Secure Internet Protocol Router (SPIR) and Non-classified Internet Protocol Router (NPIR) network. The SPIR operated Global Transportation Network (GTN) and Global Decision Support System (GDSS). The NPIR was used for Single Mobility System (SMS) and other unclassified systems. The MCC commander and deputy commanders both had the classified and unclassified computers on their desks since they received messages by both networks.8

The MCC experienced the same difficulties in tracking as the MCTs had, prior to its arrival. Joint TAV and GTN were unreliable because of incorrect data input at each node along the way. GTN might show cargo sitting in Bagram when it was really at Ramstein, Germany. In July, the MCC spent a whole day searching by way of GTN and JTAV systems to learn the volume and accuracy of the information on inbound containers. It was not impressive. Of the 691 containers that MTMC provided data on, the MCC found only a few entered on the GTN or JTAV and none had content data. The greatest technology and systems advancements in movement control were rendered ineffective due to human error.9

The Surface Movement Section of the MCC came up with a simple manual system. They had the vendors and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) email them container packing lists then the Section called forward to commercial freight companies in Pakistan and Uzbechistan to ensure the proper materiel left the port bound for the camps. This required the MCC to manually update its spread sheets.10

Out of necessity, the 530th CSB had placed two movement control liaison teams at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, and Rhein-Main, Germany. The 330th CSB did likewise. The only way to ensure that MCC received an accurate report of what was on the inbound aircraft was to have their own people on the ground at the next node in the air line of communication. They placed two NCOs at Incirlik with responsibility for interacting with the US Air Force air mobility squadron to track cargo and warn the MCC of arriving cargo and expedite any selected cargo as needed. The 330th CSB also sent a lieutenant and an SFC with two soldiers from the Logistic Task Force to Rhein-Main not only to track cargo but also facilitate unit movements through Germany. They also coordinated with US Army Europe MCT at Ramstein to maintain visibility of CJTF 180 cargo and expedite selected items. Having eyes at each node in the line of communication made up for the shortfalls in ITV and TAV systems.11

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 08-0912

Prior to the Predeployment Site Survey (PDSS) in October 2007, COL Ron Ross, the 330th Movement Control Battalion (MCB) Commander, developed a 30-60-90 day plan and refined it. Prior to the commander’s conference in December 2007, BG Michael Lally, the 1st Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) Commander, also told Ross to look at movement control, to be proactive and not reactive. During the commander’s conference, Ross briefed his 30-60-90 day plan. The 330th had a set of goals at each of the 30, 60, and 90 days.

The 330th MCB deployed from Fort Bragg and borrowed an additional 14 personnel from the 7th Transportation Battalion. It brought a total of 72 personnel. The 330th MCB arrived on 7 March 2008 and COL Ross met with the 4th Sustainment Brigade (SB), 1st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) and 14th MCB in Kuwait since he needed a strong working relationship with them. COL Herman, Commander of the 4th SB, asked Ross if he wanted a 4th SB LNO in the 330th. Since backhaul was the number one priority, CPT Duncan, 4th SB LNO, helped track backhaul and the 4th SB gave the 330th feedback on its operations. The 330th MCB completed its transfer of authority (TOA) with the 719th MCB on 11 April.

When COL Ross arrived, the commander of the 719th MCB was the SPO Trans for the ESC. The MCB had 20 movement control teams (MCT) under it which was twice the normal span of control for a MCB. Ross went to BG Couch and asked him to trust Ross as a commander and let him out of the SPO Trans duties. Instead Ross had his S3, S6 and Air Ops works in the Fusion Cell and his SPO attend the shift change in the ESC Fusion Cell. When the 330th arrived, there was no staging yard at Victory Base Center. Convoys would arrive and park anywhere, so the 330th had one built.

Twenty MCTs scattered all over Iraq made it difficult to provide command and control. At first, Ross did not know how to communicate with all his MCTs, so he developed processes and procedures, and established shift change briefings. He started with “straw man” slides and has continued to develop them. These Breeze Sessions synchronized MCTs like a battle update assessment (BUA) and he began them immediately upon arrival. The BUA went from 0730-0800 hours and the Breeze Session took place at 0830 daily. From these meetings, Ross gained situational awareness. Mission is half the job and administration is the other half.

Since Ross had built up the LNO (now Convoy Support Teams) program under the 7th Transportation Group during 2005, he knew firsthand the shortfalls of the MCTs. The Convoy Support Teams (CST) had become responsible for life support, maintenance and movement control. Immediately upon the 330th’s arrival, Ross asked for the movement control function back from the CSTs and leaves them with just the life support and maintenance function. COL Herman, Commander of the 4th SB agreed and instructed his CSTs to “treat them [convoys] like rock stars.” Similar to the 7th Trans Group before, the 4th SB had picked quality people for the CSTs. However, the MCTs did not always attract the best quality officers and Ross knew it.

Due to the 8 and 15 month rotation cycle of Reserve/Guard and Active Duty units, MCTs rotated in and out at different times so he had to put the MCTs through training in in-transit visibility (ITV) systems upon their arrival. The MCTs use a number of ITV systems: BCS3, RFID, BFT, MTS, Qualcom, CROF, TACVIEW and MiRC. Upon arrival each MCT undergoes 5-7 days of training at the MCB headquarters. There COL Ross gives them his vision of what right looks like.

Ross gave the MCTs ownership and had the MCTs track the convoys before they arrive and assigned an NCO as a sponsor to the convoy. That NCO took ownership of the convoy while it was on that forward operating base (FOB). The NCO met the convoy and took care of it until it left.

Ross’ philosophy was that KBR augments his MCTs. There were no KBR MCTs in Iraq. “Throw out that idea.” He made KBR part of the formation and held them to the same standard. He even had the KBR MCT signs painted over. This way the MCTs owned the operation and the nodes on the FOB reported into operations.

Ross liked to do “battlefield circulation” and also had his XO, CSM and Chaplain make unannounced visits to MCTs. It kept them on their toes. At first, the ESC commander let Ross use his private security detachment (PSD) until it was hit by an IED, so Ross had to fly to each FOB. He looked at their communications and process and procedures. He also used these visits to mentor and coach. Ross held a quarterly “Green Tab Huddle” to provide cross talk among MCT commanders and also held a “Lieutenants Huddle” quarterly.

Interestingly, the previous commander of the 14th MCB last year learned the commander of the 719th MCB did not get out and visit all his MCTs. Ross’ strong-handed leadership did not make him popular with his MCTs. Ross brought in a Fort Bragg mentality. A few of the MCTs tried to hold out but all came around in time. Another tool in his tool box is awards and recognition. He held award ceremonies.

The ESC owned three of the five Sheriff networks. The Sheriff network was a communication network where convoys talked to the battle space owner in case they were hit and needed help in either a quick reaction force or recovery. Two in MND-South belonged to ground commander. BG Lally recommended that the 3rd ESC assume control of Sheriff. The BG felt the MCB should run it rather than the battle space owner since they were more concerned with combat operations.

Ross wanted control of the Sheriff net because he felt the battle space owner was more concerned with the fight rather than protecting convoys. The 330th MCB’s function was to track and monitor convoys traveling through Iraq so it made better sense to give the Sheriff net over to the MCB. By November 2008, the 330th MCB assumed control of all five Sheriff nets by April. The 330th consolidated the Sheriff net with operations. Ross also wanted to reposition the Sheriff net at Taji up north.

The MCB did not have the people to operate the Sheriff net so the ESC loaned them some. This way the MCB supported convoys out of Kuwait, Adder and other areas and BG Lally wanted to even support Stryker patrols. The MCB also collocated the MCT in the staging area so the convoys could get the latest intelligence. The convoys parked in the staging yard. The trucks dropped their trailers and drove everywhere. So Lally had the MCTs provided a shuttle to food and other places. Lally wanted the MCB to be the one stop shop for convoys. They also built a PX in the “Chicken Coup” (KBR) area so they drivers would not need to come over to this side as often.

The MCB had to task the LMCC, which controls the contract for the Iraqi Transportation Network (ITN), to get the ITN to deliver any commodities. In December 2008, the 330th started the process to take over the LMCC and completed it by April. The LMCC then moved into another building on Balad and the ITN and private security company established LNOs with the MCC.

In March of 2012, the 330th redeployed from a yearlong deployment to Kuwait where it provided theater movement control and transportation management in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.


LTC Joseph Blanding’s 330th Movement Control Battalion replaced LTC Michael S. Knapp’s 39th Movement Control Battalion on 23 November 2013. The 330th MCB assumed mission command over 19 MCTs. It managed the National Afghan Trucking (NAT) network, and coordinated delivery of fuel and all other classes of supply.

330th Transportation Battalion, Movement Control (MC); Movement Control Across the CJOA-A 13

1LT(P) Stephen J. Fitzpatrick, Deputy SPO, 330th Movement Control Battalion and Antonio V. A. Pressley, SPO, 330th Movement Control Battalion

The 330th Transportation Battalion (MC) originates from Fort Bragg, NC as part of the 82nd Sustainment Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps. On November 4, 2013 the 330th Transportation Battalion (MC) deployed to Bagram Airfield (BAF), Afghanistan to assume responsibilities as the Movement Control Battalion (MCB) in the CJOA-A. November 18, 2013 the transfer of authority from the 39th Joint Movement Control Battalion (JMCB), based in Germany, took place and the 330th MCB assumed control of 19 Movement Control Teams (MCTs) located at regional Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) across Afghanistan, consisting of more than 409 Soldier and 500 civilian employees conducting ground and air operations.

The 330th MCB assumed the role of the movement control battalion in Afghanistan, managing and facilitating two major transportation contracts in theater, the National Afghan Trucking (NAT) contract and the Xeless contract, a NATO run contract. The MCB, with the help of its regional MCTs, utilizes the NAT contract consisting of 14 transportation companies with a combined total of almost 12,000 transportation assets. The MCTs accept movement requests from units and civilian agencies, and submits them through the MCB for allocation to NAT carriers. The 330th MCB provides In-Transit Visibility (ITV) on all current missions utilizing the satellite-based system called Global Distribution Management System (GDMS). Each MCT has GDMS and is capable of pro-viding ITV. GDMS provides a real-time view of all NAT movements and playbacks on missions to confirm mission validity. The 330th MCB also facilitates the NATO-based Xeless contract. The MCB utilizes Xeless primarily for retrograde packages and FOB closures. The 330th MCB has the ability to monitor and track Xeless movements using a similar satellite-based system called the Automated Programming Management System (APMS) reducing the overall cost of Xeless missions.

The 330th MCB also has an Air Force Cell embedded within its organization. Composed of one officer, and four enlisted personnel, the Air Cell manages the Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) aircraft based on Ba-gram Airfield. The STOL aircraft fly on a daily basis to all major aerial hubs in Afghanistan, moving cargo, personnel, and mail. This Air Cell provides the expertise needed to allow the MCB to regulate operations on air fields throughout the CJOA-A. The personnel in the cell are an added enabler, supporting the MCB’s mission of providing an Air Force liaison capable of direct communication at every air field in Afghanistan.

Since December, the 330th MCB has been working in conjunction with the 401st Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB) and the 101st Sustainment Brigade (SB) to retrograding over 1,300 pieces of rolling stock and equipment from Redistribution Property Assistance Team (RPAT) Yards located on FOB Shank, FOB Ghazni and FOB Fenty in an effort to reduce the military presence in Afghanistan. To meet the objective, the MCB has provided NAT and Xeless assets to move RPAT equipment to BAF, in-gate and stage equipment, and document vehicles in the Global Air Transportation Execution System (GATES) for movement out of theater. In addition to assisting the 401st AFSB, the 330th MCB sup-ports the 831st Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) as it retrogrades over 860 pieces of rolling stock from Kabul carrier holding yards to the Spear Yard at BAF for future air movement out of theater. This is a current mission that continues until mid to late February.

Aside from day to day operation, the MCB is working a number of projects to enhance movement control capabilities across the CJOA-A. Our NAT Dry/Heavy Cell has developed a digital version of the Transportation Movement Request (TMR) form in an effort to combat fraudulent TMRs, as well as enforce accurate points of contact information. The digital TMR is being implemented CJOA-A wide in phases allowing regional MCTs to inform customers of the new process. Another initiative is the NAT Asset Movement Table, which lists a seven day projection of all NAT deliveries listed by FOB. The movement table is derived from data pulled from GDMS making it a planning tool for MCTs and customers. This has become a daily reporting requirement to 1st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) providing current projections to assist planning movements across the CJOA-A. Along with the movement table, the 330th MCB created a transportation estimate. The 330th MCB’s Transportation Estimate is a product partly derived from GDMS, but contains other FOB centric transportation requirements and capabilities. This tool is in its early stages. With the support of the 1st TSC and other strategic partners, the 330th Transportation Estimate may evolve into a one stop shop for all transportation requirements across the CJOA-A.

As the 330th MCB continues its tour in Afghanistan, the focus remains managing ground and air movements through the NAT and Xeless contracts as well as the embedded Air Cell with its STOL aircraft mission. The MCB continue to seek new and innovative ways to improve its mission. What the future brings is uncertain, but what we do know is that the end of “Operation Enduring Freedom” is approaching, and the 330th MCB is poised to support requirements as identified by the 1st TSC, the Sustainment Brigade and all customers across the CJOA-A.


1 These numbers came from COL Fredrick C. Perkins, and LTC (P) John C. Race, Jr., “Moving the XVIIIth Airborne Corps During Desert Storm,” A Personal Experience Monograph, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA, 194.

2 Ricther interview, “OEF Chain of Command,” CDI, “Operation Enduring Freedom: Forces in Play,” CDI Terrorism Project,

3 Scheid interview

4 Tardoff interview.

5 Robert W. Petrillo, Daniel W. Carpenter, “Movement control on a nonlinear battlefield – movement control center established in Uzbekistan for Combined/Joint Task Force 180 in Afghanistan,” Army Logistician, Sep-Oct 2003.

6 Petrillo, “Movement control,” Richter interview.

7 Petrillo, “Movement control.”

8 Petrillo, “Movement control.”

9 Petrillo, “Movement control.”

10 Petrillo, “Movement control.”

11 Petrillo, “Movement control.”

12 Richard Killblane, OIF Journal 2009.

13 Transportation Corps Quarterly SIGACTS Report, 1st QTR, FY 14.