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Home > Exercise News > DEF 20 Album ~ US 3rd Infantry Division On The Move

DEF 20 Album ~ US 3rd Infantry Division On The Move

Soldiers assist in the movement and staging of various armored track vehicles in Savannah, Georgia on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]
Over the last ten days or so the first tranches of 3rd Infantry Division wheeled and tracked vehicles have been loaded onto sealift ships in Savannah.

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The logistic operation to move a US Army Division’s armour and support vehicles from CONUS (Continental United States) to Europe is a gargantuan task, not least because the skills required for a peacetime transfer on this scale between the two continents have not been exercised for more than a quarter of a century.

Way back in 1990 I was fortunate to see both sides of a logistic move like this, first when one of the US Strategic Sealift Ships unloaded wheeled and tracked vehicles plus helicopters for REFORGER 90 at Antwerp Docks and later in the year when as part of Operation GRANBY a large portion of 1 [UK] Armoured Division’s wheels and tracks were loaded onto a Ro-Ro ferry at Bremerhaven Docks bound for Saudi Arabia and subsequently Operation DESERT SABRE in February 1991. We simply do not have the resources to cover both the State-side end of the massive DEF 20 (DEFENDER-Europe 20) deployment and the European side, but US Army photographers have well documented the loading of the M/V Endurance and the M/V Green Bay at Savannah in Georgia since last Wednesday (5th February).

According to the extended image captions provided:

  • This movement of equipment is in preparation for the DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercise which takes place in multiple European countries.
  • Strategic readiness includes the ability of the US military to dynamically project force and set the theatre by mobilising and deploying forces, sustaining them in a crisis, and redeploying them when their mission is complete.
  • DEFENDER-Europe 20, is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of Army Prepositioned Stock, and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theatre to various training areas.
  • DEFENDER-Europe 20 will train the joint, inter-agency and multinational force and help the US and NATO allies and partners better understand roles, responsibilities and requirements for global force deployment.”
  • DEFENDER-Europe 20 will provide the joint force the ability to practice the rapid and continuous integration of all domains of warfare – land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.
  • DEFENDER-Europe 20 and linked exercises demonstrate and develop the extensive military capabilities that NATO allies need to prevent conflict, preserve peace and keep our nations safe.
  • The mission will help international forces prepare in conducting interoperability missions across the continent.
  • DEFENDER-Europe 20 will conclude with the redeployment of US-based forces and equipment.
  • DEFENDER-Europe 20 and linked exercises demonstrate and develop the extensive military capabilities that NATO allies need to prevent conflict, preserve peace and keep our nations safe.
  • The mission will help international forces prepare in conducting interoperability missions across the continent.
  • US Service members will clear the training areas, return prepositioned stocks, move to ports and return to home stations – fulfilling the US military’s commitment to the NATO agreements.
02. An M1A1 Abrams Tank sits in the distance among various armored track vehicles in Savannah, on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]

Thirty years ago when t’internet as we know it – i.e. the World Wide Web – was still a work in progress for (the now Sir) Tim Berners-Lee the cost of reproducing colour images in books and magazines was so high that only a handful of those taken on the day usually ever saw the light. Today digital images, and of course digital scans of historic photographs shot on film, mean we can provide much greater and much quicker documentary coverage. The twenty US Army photos in this album should hopefully give viewers a reasonable idea of the scale of this first phase of the transatlantic logistics operation.

Captions & Credits:-

01. Soldiers assist in the movement and staging of various armored track vehicles in Savannah, Georgia on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]

02. An M1A1 Abrams Tank sits in the distance among various armored track vehicles in Savannah, on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]

03. Soldiers assist in the movement and staging of various armored track vehicles in Savannah, on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]

04. US Army M2 Bradleys, of 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, wait to be loaded onto American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Endurance for DEFENDER Europe-20 on Feb. 7, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]

05. US Army wheeled vehicles are staged prior to being loaded onto American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Endurance for overseas shipping during port operations in Savannah, on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]

06. US Army High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) are secured inside American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Endurance on Feb. 7, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Carlos Cuebas Fantauzzi]

07. Port of Savannah stevedores secure US Army M113 armored personnel carriers inside American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Endurance in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20 on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Carlos Cuebas Fantauzzi]

08. Shipping containers brimming with equipment belonging to 3rd Infantry Division are loaded in preparation for shipping to Europe in Savannah, on Feb. 5, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel Alkana]

09.The Green Bay, an American Roll-On Roll-Off vessel from Mobile, AL, lies docked in preparation of receiving US Army vehicles from 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, for DEFENDER-Europe 20 on Feb. 10, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel J. Alkana]

10. The American Roll-On Roll-Off [Ro-Ro) carrier Green Bay, from Mobile, AL, lowers its rear entry ramp for US Army vehicles to board en route to DEFENDER-Europe 20, Feb. 10, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Daniel J. Alkana]

11. 1st Lt. Daniel Frasch with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division logs vehicle movement onto the American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier Green Bay, at the port of Savannah, in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20, Feb. 10, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

12. Soldiers with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, and civilians onboard the American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier vessel Green Bay, help properly load and secure military vehicles at the port of Savannah, in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20 Feb. 10, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

13. Overview of US Army vehicles with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, ready to be loaded onto the American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Green Bay at the port of Savannah for transport in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20, Feb. 11, 2020 [US Army Photo: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

14. US Army vehicles with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, are shown staged and secured, ready to be loaded onto the American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Green Bay for transport in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20 at the port of Savannah, Feb. 11, 2020 [US Army Photo: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

15. Soldiers with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division begin to properly load and secure military vehicles onto the American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier Green Bay at the port of Savannah, in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20 Feb. 11, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

16. Staff Sgt. Killian Balzly, an infantryman with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, ground guides military vehicles at the port of Savannah, in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20, Feb. 11, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

17. Civilians onboard the American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier Green Bay properly onload and secure military vehicles with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at the port of Savannah, in preparation for DEFENDER-Europe 20, Feb. 11, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

18. Soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, operating M88A2 Hercules heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift and evacuation system vehicles, stand tall within the ready line of Army vehicle resources, during overseas loading procedures prior to loading onto the American Roll-On Roll-Off Green Bay vessel, headed to DEFENDER-Europe 20, in Savannah, on Feb. 12, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

19. An inventory of various US Army 3rd Infantry Division vehicles lie positioned and tethered during an overseas loading procedure, aboard the American Roll-On Roll-Off Green Bay vessel, headed to DEFENDER-Europe 20, in Savannah, on Feb. 12, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

20. US Army Pfc. Bryce Paulson, a track vehicle repairer, assigned to 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, maintains an Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle, aboard the American Roll-On Roll-Off Green Bay vessel, which will transport equipment to DEFENDER-Europe 20, in Savannah, on Feb. 12, 2020 [US Army: Pfc. Nathaniel Gayle]

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