By Lt. Col. Cynthia King
30th Armored Brigade Combat Team
U.S. Soldiers in the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team assist in the line-up and preparation of vehicles for movement to their base in Kuwait after being off-loaded from ships at Shuaiba Port, Kuwait, Oct. 21-25, 2019. The unit is mobilized to support Operation Spartan Shield and is comprised of units from the North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia Army National Guard.
SHUAIBA PORT, Kuwait – Hundreds of pieces of equipment and vehicles were reunited with the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team in Kuwait Oct. 21-25, following a more than 15,000 nautical-mile journey across the ocean.
After the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team’s rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, in August, the unit’s equipment was taken to the port of San Diego. M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M109 Paladins, fuel and cargo trucks were loaded onto three cargo ships for transport to the Middle East.
“We were very pleased with the progress and outcomes of this logistical feat and having all of our equipment arrive safely,” said Army Maj. Steve McLean, the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team’s logistics officer. “We were well ahead of schedule because of the efforts of all involved.”
McLean said units and contractors assisting the brigade included the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) and 1188th Deployment and Distribution Support Battalion.
During the 24-hour operations at the port, once the vehicles were taken off of the ships, they were staged at a nearby yard for inspections and transport to the unit’s location in Kuwait. Soldiers from the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team were on hand to assist.
“We are taking care of everyone’s vehicles, regardless of the unit,” said Army Sgt. Walter Jeter, the assistant operations sergeant in the 4-118th Infantry Regiment, from Union, South Carolina, who was part of the group of Soldiers at the yard.
Jeter, an 11B Infantry Soldier on his fourth deployment in the South Carolina Army National Guard, said he and his team are proud to be helping one another, as the brigade of about 4,000 Soldiers from four National Guard states has bonded training and working together.
“I’m looking forward to getting on with our mission,” said Jeter. “And also mentoring some of our new and junior Soldiers who are on their first deployment.”
The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, nicknamed “Old Hickory,” is mobilized to support Task Force Spartan and Operation Spartan Shield, to help maintain stability in the region and strengthen relationships with allies and partner nations. The unit includes elements from the North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia Army National Guard. They are assuming the mission as the rotational brigade combat team in Kuwait from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which assumed authority in March.