Coast Guardsmen help deployed Army unit ship containers home

5th Coast Guard District NewsCONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – Two U.S. Coast Guard petty officers are part of a team that assists service members with the proper declaration, classification, labeling and packaging of shipping containers leaving Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq.

Petty Officers First Class Alfred Jurison, from Waipahu, Hawaii, and Eric Sobczak, from Chesapeake, Va., assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Redeployment Assistance and Inspection Detachment helped with the inspection.

“We are advisors, we don’t enforce any regulations,” said Sobczak, a marine science technician. “We want to make sure the containers get back home safely.”

Many units ship hazardous materials but the RAID team makes sure that the items are properly loaded, labeled correctly, and the container is safe to carry the cargo.

The team evaluates the containers to ensure each one is seaworthy to cut down on possible problems during the journey home. Once it is determined that the container can safely make the journey to the U.S., the petty officers confirm that all of the numbers on the containers match their records. When the container is approved it receives an inspection sticker that is good for 30 months.

“Shipping containers without proper documentation may slow down the process at its port of entry,” Sobczak said. “It is rewarding helping Army units get home.”

RAID was established in 2003 and is responsible for assisting the Department of Defense with the safe redeployment of containerized cargo. The detachment supports U.S. Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and is embedded with the 840th Transportation Battalion, under the 595th Transportation Brigade.

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