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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2022

8th MP Shows Versatility in APS Download Mission

By Staff Sgt. Richard Perez 8th Theater Sustainment Command

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR – HICKAM, HAWAII – The 8th Military Police Brigade executed a week-long mission command operation for the download and staging of approximately 500 pieces of military equipment, as part of Army Prepositioned Stock-3 (Afloat) Fixed-Forward on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2022. The "Watchdogs" Brigade executed oversight as the Command and Control (C2) authority over the movement of each piece of equipment downloaded from the U.S. Naval Ship Watson.

In support of Operation Pathways 2023, military vehicles, trailers, and containers were loaded onto U.S. Naval Ship Watson in Charleston, South Carolina, and then shipped to Hawaii to be staged in preparation for further movement.

The APS-3 equipment movement was accomplished with the help of 25th Infantry Division, 402nd and 404th Army Field Support Brigades, Army Materiel Command, Naval Cargo Handling Battalion, Naval Support Fleet Command, U.S. Army Transportation Command, and Military Sealift Command service members and civilians. In total, 385 rolling stock along with 127 containers were offloaded during the first of its kind mission for the “Watchdogs."

“It is always easier when the unit that we are working with has the passion and desire as we do to complete the mission effectively and safely,” said Manuel K. Galera III, Ocean Terminals Deputy Director, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center, Pearl Harbor. “The 8th MP Bde. came in with great attitudes and the desire to succeed in completing the mission and did it so well you would have never thought it was their first experience in a vessel offload evolution.”

The floating stock, which is a cornerstone of the Army’s ability to rapidly project power and to send a clear signal of the U.S. commitment to the Pacific, will undergo inspections from the Department of Agricultural Fishery and Forest once downloaded and staged on Pearl Harbor, to enable use for future operations and exercises. The following phases of the operation, which includes the maintenance, inspection, security, and eventual reloading of each vehicle, will take place in the coming months.

“Overall, I would categorize the operation as an extreme success,” said Col. Charles A. Green, the 8th MP Bde. Commander. “We executed what we thought would take about five days in three days. It’s really the joint nature that brought everybody together in the execution we had here.”

Key leadership from the 8th MP Bde. were tasked with the accountability of personnel and equipment throughout all phases of the unloading. From ensuring the necessary amount of qualified drivers were available to move the vehicles off the vessel, to the risk management and security once the stock was moved to the staging areas, the “Watchdogs” team ensured successful execution of the unique mission given to them.

“With so many agencies coming together, we were able to remain flexible and agile when adapting to changes given from higher echelons,” said 1st. Sgt. Aaron Duhachek, 8th MP Headquarters, Headquarters Company First Sergeant.

The U.S. Army pre-positioned stock both land-based and afloat enable materiel power projection worldwide, empowering organizations to access forward positioned resources during contingency and strategic operations, such as Operations Pathways. The flexibility of the Soldiers and leadership of the “Watchdogs” Brigade proved instrumental in accomplishing the consequential mission that helps support a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“We understand the difficult dynamic of operating in such a crucial part of the globe right now,” said Duhachek. “We see the impact this exercise is having on not just the Army but the involvement of the entire U.S. military. Each branch involved tested their systems and processes and showed that we can dominate the basics. I walked away happy knowing my team and I are ready to accomplish tasks that have theater level impacts.”