- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center is being considered as a depot for the return, redeployment and disposal of military equipment now in Afghanistan.

Camp Shelby is one of several sites in the South Mississippi Defense Corridor under consideration. Others are Keesler Air Force Base, Stennis Space Center in Hancock County and Combat Readiness Training Center-Gulfport.

“We have a port expansion (in Gulfport), a military base that is one of the largest mobilization platforms in the United States, and other military installations including Army, Navy and Air Force. I don’t believe you could find that type of joint interaction anywhere else,” Maj. Craig Sumrall, mobilization officer at Camp Shelby, told The Hattiesburg American reports (https://hatne.ws/QmDmld ).

Camp Shelby officials have signed an agreement with the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The agreement allows military planners to determine whether Camp Shelby will be designated a strategic military intermodal logistics hub.

“Based on our knowledge of locating freight facilities, we thought this was actually something worth looking at,” CFIRE Executive Director Teresa M. Adams said. “There’s already a lot of military activity going on (in that area), so the community is already welcoming to that, and it seems like a good site.”

The Department of Defense will spend $7 billion to ship nearly 750,000 pieces of equipment worth $36 billion as combat operations come to an end this year. Officials from Camp Shelby and CFIRE believe the agreement could save the DOD millions of dollars as military equipment begins to make its way back to the United States from Afghanistan.

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Information from: The Hattiesburg American, https://www.hattiesburgamerican.com

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