More than 95 percent of U.S.-based units moving
to Iraq and Afghanistan transit the U.S. European Command (EUCOM)
area of responsibility (AOR). The organization responsible
for managing these movements through Europe, as well as the
movement of EUCOM-based forces, is the Joint Movement Center
(JMC) located in Stuttgart, Germany.
As part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the JMC
coordinated more than 8,217 missions from October 2002 through
January 2004. Approximately 140,000 passengers,
207,400 tons of materiel, and 115,300 square feet of ship tonnage
traversed the AOR using multimodal (truck, train, barge, airlift,
and sealift) transport. The center also coordinated over 2,060
missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, moving 59,881
passengers, 178,802 tons of materiel, and 6,473,328 square
feet of tonnage in a 4-month period.
The multimodal movement of troops and equipment supporting
the Global War on Terrorism is the largest force rotation in
EUCOM’s history. The JMC plays a pivotal role in planning,
coordinating, and executing these movements.
|Albanian troops prepare
to board a C–17 transport.
The JMC manages the strategic and intratheater transportation
system within the EUCOM theater. Its primary mission is to
manage transportation by planning, allocating, apportioning,
deconflicting, coordinating, and tracking deployment, redeployment,
and sustainment of EUCOM and EUCOM-supported forces and ensuring
that their movement supports the theater distribution plan.
The JMC fully participates in crisis action planning, writes
transportation estimates, provides information on airfield
and port capabilities and limitations, and contributes to mission
analysis and orders preparation for numerous contingency operations.
The center’s personnel perform these functions around
the clock by working closely with the U.S. Transportation Command
(TRANSCOM), the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), host nation
governments, military components, and numerous transportation
agencies. The goal is to ensure that all movement is synchronized
to meet operations and logistics timelines. The JMC also serves
as an interface between U.S. military components and transportation
agencies to facilitate planning and resolve mobility issues.
The JMC is functionally organized based on joint doctrine,
and it is designed to expand and contract in response to operational
requirements. During normal operations, 26 joint service personnel
are assigned to the center. However, during the height of Iraqi
Freedom in the winter and spring of 2003, the JMC surged to
53 personnel. Complicating things further, the JMC conducted
split-based operations with a forward-deployed organization
of 21 personnel at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Approximately
70 percent of JMC personnel are Reservists and National Guard
augmentees with tours of duty ranging from 90 days to 1 year.
The center could not accomplish its mission without mobilized
citizen soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen.
The JMC consists of a Data Transportation Feasibility Section,
Plans Section, and Operations Section. The Operations Section
is further divided into Sealift, Inland, and Airlift Cells.
The data transportation feasibility section uses 12 automated
systems (including the Joint Operation Planning and Execution
System, Global Transportation Network, Single Mobility System,
Global Decision Support System, and Allied Deployment and Movement
System) to track and provide a current and forward view of
upcoming movements within the AOR. The section also maintains
a database of information on all modes of movement in EUCOM.
For example, the database calculates the total number of passengers
and tons of materiel moved by each mode of transportation during
a given operation. It also provides useful information for
tracking mission progress and force closure and a summary of
force flow for future planning.
Supporting Iraqi Freedom
The center currently operates the Logistics Sustainment Cell
(LSC) at Incirlik. The LSC’s primary mission is to coordinate
and monitor the movement of sustainment to U.S. Forces and
humanitarian efforts in northern Iraq. From April 2003 through
January 2004, the LSC coordinated the delivery of more than
62 million liters of water, 3 million pounds of fresh fruits
and vegetables, 447 million liters of fuel, 276 measurement
tons of liquid propane gas, 1.3 billion liters of benzene and
kerosene, and 12 million tons of miscellaneous cargo. [A measurement
ton is a measure of volume; 1 measurement ton equals 40 cubic
Commercial trucks moved all of these supplies over a ground
line of communication (GLOC) from several locations in Germany
and Turkey into Iraq. This GLOC averages over 5,000 trucks
in the transportation system on a daily basis. It extends from
central Germany south through Turkey and crosses into northern
Iraq through the only crossing point at the Turkey-Iraq border,
the Habur Border Gate. Using this vital supply route significantly
reduces airlift and sealift costs. In addition to ground resupply,
approximately three strategic airlift channels from Ramstein
Air Base, Germany, and Moron Air Base, Spain, deliver equipment
and sustainment into northern Iraq each week.
troops load pallets for movement to Iraq.
Supporting Other Operations
The JMC also manages transportation in numerous other countries
throughout the theater ranging from Africa to Russia and
the Middle East. Some other major operations the center supports
are the Stabilization Force (SFOR) and the Kosovo Force (KFOR)
in the Balkans, humanitarian assistance in Africa, support
of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member nations
participating in multinational exercises, the Georgia Train
and Equip Program in the Republic of Georgia, and exercise-related
construction programs in West African states. Sustainment
into the Balkans includes more than 55 trucks daily, 2 trains
per month and 6 C–130 flights a week. The trucks cross
eight countries (some trips last more than 3 weeks) to arrive
at their destination.
Another elongated movement is the delivery of cargo and sustainment
to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In addition to
C–17 airlift, materiel moves on trains through Germany,
Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan to Bishkek,
Kyrgyzstan. Ships carrying cargo to Enduring Freedom sail across
the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal, and over the
Indian Ocean to Karachi, Pakistan. The cargo is offloaded at
Karachi and transported by truck north into Afghanistan.
A smaller but significant mission was the role played by the
JMC in the Joint Task Force (JTF) Liberia operation last year.
The JMC deployed personnel to the JTF and assisted in developing
and executing a JTF Liberia JMC in support of the humanitarian
assistance and stability operation in that war-ravaged West
In addition to contingency movements, the JMC resolves numerous
• Airspace and overflight coordination and approval.
• Transit rights through various countries within the EUCOM AOR.
• Force protection for all vessels transiting the Mediterranean and calling
at ports in the EUCOM AOR.
• Bed-down locations for aircraft and passengers (air-to-air interface
• Fuel, subsistence, replenishment, and maintenance support for aircraft,
ships, and vehicles transiting the EUCOM AOR.
USNS Brittin is loaded with equipment bound for Operation
Supporting Allied Forces
One of the center’s most challenging missions is planning,
coordinating, and executing coalition movements for the Polish-led
Multinational Division-Center South (MND–CS) sector in
Iraq and other troop-contributing nations in support of Iraqi
Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The contributing nations include
17 countries within the EUCOM AOR, while the MND–CS involves
23 countries from around the globe.
In order to effectively execute movements in support of these
forces, the JMC established the European Deployment Cell (EDC)
in Warsaw, Poland. The EDC is responsible for movements through
numerous air and sea ports of embarkation and debarkation to
ensure that troop-contributing nations within the EUCOM AOR
meet U.S. and NATO standards for movement on U.S. military
transports. In addition to NATO countries, the EDC has moved
Albanian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Moldovan, and Ukrainian forces.
Teams from the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command
augment the EDC to execute port of debarkation operations in
countries such as Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and Spain. U.S.
Army Europe (USAREUR) and U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)
operated the EDC during the Iraqi Freedom rotations.
Another JMC initiative was training Polish military personnel
for unit movement certification. This certification ensured
that allied forces possessed the skills they needed to prepare
passengers and cargo for movement according to U.S. and NATO
standards. USAREUR’s 7th Army Training Command conducted
the training, which included unit movement, hazardous materials,
and load-planning courses. The 45-day training certified 21
Polish military personnel to perform functions previously executed
by the U.S. military, which produced significant cost savings
for the U.S. Government. This first-ever training set the standard
for future training so that troop-contributing nations can
achieve unit movement standards.
await entry into northern Iraq through the Habur
Border Gate on the Iraq-Turkey border.
Redeploying U.S. Forces
Recently, the JMC was responsible for developing the concept
of a forward aerial transload hub at Incirlik. The hub served
as an intermediate transfer point for redeploying more than
8,000 U.S. personnel from northern Iraq. This operation expedited
the redeployment of personnel and equipment from Operation
Iraqi Freedom II to the continental United States and adhered
to the “boots on the ground” timeline. It also
minimized the use of precious C–130 intratheater air
assets and reduced load capacity on the aerial port at Kuwait
City International Airport. USAFE’s 39th Airlift Wing
executed the transload operation, which ran from January
through April 2004. Most importantly, the use of the Incirlik
hub demonstrated the Turkish commitment to the Global War
The JMC is a multifaceted, diverse entity that executes short-
and long-range movement issues to improve transportation into,
out of, and through the EUCOM AOR. The center is committed
to meeting every challenge and executing a seamless movement
of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines and their equipment
and sustainment as they transit the EUCOM AOR. The key to its
success is a simple movement formula: Planning + Coordinating
+ More Coordinating + Flexibility in
Execution = Success. ALOG
Lieutenant Colonel David R. McClean is the Chief of the
Joint Movement Center,
J–4, at the U.S. European Command at Stuttgart, Germany. He has a B.S.
degree in structural engineering from West Virginia University and an M.S. degree
in human resource management from Central Michigan University. He is a graduate
of the Transportation Officer Basic Course, the Army Command and General Staff
College, and the School of Advanced Military Studies.
Captain Phillip E. Henson, TNARNG, is assigned as a Surface Movements Officer
to the Joint Movement Center, J–4, at the U.S. European Command at Stuttgart,
Germany. He has a B.S. degree in business administration from the University
of Tennessee and is a graduate of the Signal Officer Basic Course and the Field
Artillery Officer Advanced Course.