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Feature Stories

NEWS | June 1, 2024

U.S. Army Watercraft Operator: Supporting JLOTS Humanitarian Aid Mission

By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Malcolm Cohens-Ashley

U.S. Army Spc. Briar Chasteen, a watercraft operator assigned to the 11th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), supports Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) humanitarian aid operations as a leading seaman and Kalmar RT-240 operator. 

Chasteen, a native of Trenton, Illinois, has served for three years, and was approaching his first permanent change of station with his wife and 18-month old son, Miles, when he was presented the opportunity to support this mission. Although he knew it would be challenging, he still chose to be a part of something much greater than himself, and he sacrificed additional opportunities to do it.

 

“Being a part of this mission was a choice for me,” said Chasteen. “I re-enlisted for four more years and gave up the opportunity to move to Japan. I decided to delete my orders so that I could assist in delivering aid to people in need.”

 

Along with the obstacles of being separated from loved ones, Chasteen has faced multiple challenges during the evolving JLOTS mission.

 

“Whether it was building the Roll-on Roll-off Distribution Facility (RRDF), the Trident Pier, or dealing with the rough sea state, we have had to get used to plans changing,” he said. Adding how despite the constantly evolving mission and high operational tempo, he finds ways to keep himself motivated and moving forward. “The opportunity to take part in this mission is an honor. It has allowed me to help those in need, while doing a job I love.”