National

Large military transport heads out of Blount Island, headed to the Middle East

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Nearly 900 pieces of military equipment were recently transported out of Blount Island Marine Terminal to support ongoing efforts to combat terrorism in the Middle East.

The announcement from JAXPORT comes a day after the US military announced it carried out a series of air strike on Iranian targets in Syria.

JAXPORT is one of the nation’s 17 strategic seaports, which means it’s on-call 24/7 to help facilitate military cargo transports.

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The recent transport consisted of approximately 877 pieces of military equipment, including dozens of aircraft.

Those items are headed to support the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade’s deployment to the Middle East as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, which aims to combat terrorism in Iraq and Syria.

Chief Operating Officer for the Jacksonville Port Authority James Bennett said the port handles multiple shipments like this throughout the year.

“It comes to us by truck, it comes to us by rail and some of it is even, the helicopters are flown in and land on our terminal to go out by ship. So, it’s a lot of different types of equipment on a regular basis, but there’s usually several big moves throughout the year,” said Bennett.

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Some of the biggest shipments, Bennett noted, are part of what are called ‘speed of war’ exercises.

“Whenever they’re preparing for a potential war event or an activity, they run through a number of events to see how quick the volume of military cargo can be transported, loaded, unloaded to move in the case there is a war,” said Bennett.

And Bennett added JAXPORT’s close ties with the military not only aids the military’s ability to protect our nation, but also helps JAXPORT better serve our local military community.

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“It’s great this time of year to be able to recognize what our veterans do and the purpose of the military and how significant they are to, not only our region, but JAXPORT as well. We value the relationship we have and we look forward to continue working hard to support the military,” said Bennett.

Not only is JAXPORT one of just 17 ports designated a militarily significant in the nation, it’s the only port that carries the designation in all of Florida.

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