Jacksonville, FL. — USNS Bob Hope towers over the berth at Jaxport’s Blount Island terminal, it’ll be docked for at least a couple days until it’s finished loading hundreds of military vehicles.
At the helm of the operation, is Army Lt. Colonel Altwan Whitfield, commander of 841st transportation battalion.
Nothing moves without her knowing about it.
“I’m a logistician so that all things that move, all things that’s needed, all things that’s required I’ve seen and done,” said Lt. Col. Whitfield.
The Army along with the National Guard are moving 750 pieces of cargo in what amounts to an intricate choreography.
Every single military vehicle is accounted for because each one is going to a different destination, before they even step foot on Jaxport there’s a lot complex planning.
Jacksonville native 1st Lt. Christopher Long of the National Guard 53rd infantry brigade said, one wrong move could derail the entire operation.
“If you have a truck that’s going to one country connected to a trailer going to another country it creates big problems down the line so there’s been a lot of constant planning, checking, double checking,” he said.
From Jaxport they’ll go to Virginia to load more equipment before being deployed overseas for an exercise called Defender Europe 2021, which helps to make sure our military and NATO allies are ready to respond to any crisis.
It’ll be a long day for Lt. Col. Whitfield and her team at Jaxport, but her role is essential for the military’s mission.
The mom of two had this message for young girls considering a career in the military.
“If you are an individual who has a passion to lead, who has a passion to learn something new and who has a passion to adventure the world here’s where you want to be in the U.S. Army,” she said.
Cox Media Group