Fort McCoy News Dec. 11, 2015

Freight-management team keeps shipments moving

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

If cargo is delivered to or shipped from Fort McCoy, chances are the installation's freight-management team was involved.

The seven-member team includes both contract and Department of the Army (DA) civilian employees. The Freight Office and the Freight Warehouse are located in building 2100 and are part of the Logistics Readiness Center's Transportation Division.

Photo 1
Warehouse Specialist Bill Weekley, a contractor with the Logistics
Readiness Center Freight Warehouse, uses a forklift to move cargo.

"The freight team is a heavy hitter," said Installation Transportation Officer D.J. Eckland. "Their work affects all of our training customers. For example, when you think about the Warrior Exercise or the Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) and all of the inbound and outbound equipment that comes with those events, this office is usually coordinating the majority of that equipment's shipment."

DA civilian employees in the Freight Office coordinate the booking of commercial trucks and other freight support for U.S. Army customers on the installation and within a 28-state region.

"Our freight support provides coverage for more than 450 UICs (Unit Identification Codes) from the Army Reserve," Eckland said. "In the 28-state coverage area, it is primarily to the west of the Mississippi, but also includes Wisconsin and portions of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan."

Alan Scafe, lead coordinator in the Freight Office, said they receive requests to ship a wide variety of items — from a 1-pound package to large tactical vehicles. "We ship pretty much everything," Scafe said. "We coordinate shipments by rail, truck, ship, and even aircraft."

During the CSTX at Fort McCoy in June, the team processed more than 700 pieces of equipment related to the exercise.

Photo 2
Freight Rate Assistant Derrick Dawson and Freight Lead Alan Scafe
coordinate support efforts at the Freight Office.

"We are a team who works very well together," Scafe said. "We communicate back and forth all the time helping each other out.

"We'll get requests, and we'll loadplan them and divvy them out to the other employees," Scafe said. "We prioritize, figure out where things need to go, and then we get the job done."

Warehouse Specialist Bill Weekley, a contract employee from Accent Control Inc. in the Freight Warehouse, described operations for his section.

"We receive all (delivery) trucks and we offload them," Weekley said. "We inspect (the cargo) for damage … and we look at the bill of lading to make sure everything is there. We then put the cargo into the prospective outgoing bay for whatever building is receiving the shipment. Then we'll also take and load (the cargo) on a truck and deliver it to the post customer."

Weekley said the team also manages a loading yard near their main operations area where truckloads of equipment and related materiel is loaded and unloaded.

"Before unit personnel show up (for an exercise), we receive all of their equipment," Weekley said. "The only things we don't receive are weapons. We make sure it is properly forwarded and put into the yard. Then when they come in, they see us to get their equipment."

Weekley said they'll also provide material-handling support for loading and unloading tractor-trailers if needed. "If (Soldiers) need a forklift capability, for example, we can help them," he said.

Whether it's in the coordination or the actual movement of cargo, team members said they enjoy their work.

"We have pride in doing the job, meeting the deadlines, and getting the cargo moved in time to have it ready there for the Soldiers," Scafe said.

"I've been doing this for about 10 years now, and there's always something new — new pieces of equipment, and the Soldiers," Weekley said. "The Soldiers make it what it is. I was a Soldier, too, so giving back is something I like to do."

The Freight Office and Freight Warehouse are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. For more information, call the office at 608-388-8607 or the warehouse at 608-388-2910.