Dedication of wharf at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point marks completion of $58 million Corps of Engineers project

Published May 24, 2010

SOUTHPORT, N.C. -  The Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District today celebrated the results of the $58 million Center Wharf Modernization Project. 

 In a ceremony held on the wharf itself, U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre and Maj. Gen. James L. Hodge, commanding general of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., joined Col. Mark Hagan, commander of Sunny Point’s 596th Transportation Brigade, and Col. Jefferson Ryscavage, commander of the Corps of Engineers Wilmington District, to cut a ribbon opening the facility for business.  They also unveiled a plaque dedicating the facility.

 Sunny Point’s facilities were designed for breakbulk cargo operations, using pallets, crates and other packaging that would be moved with forklifts and small cranes from trucks and railcars onto ships. Working with breakbulk cargo is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and dangerous. In the past 20 years, the shipping industry has moved to containerization, with cargo in uniform-sized containers being moved from rail or truck directly onto ships.

 The project dedicated today upgraded the Center Wharf to accommodate the much larger and heavier cranes that move containers, and the heavy traffic involved in moving the containers at shipside during loading or unloading. Safety and other features were also upgraded to 21st-century standards.

 “The bottom line is that the use of shipping containers has increased the velocity and efficiency of supply chains all around the world,” said Maj. Gen. Hodge.  “So, when I say this modern, state-of-the-art wharf will provide greater efficiency and increased throughput, you can understand why.”

 Sunny Point, operated by the 596th Transportation Brigade, handles 90 percent of the ammunition going to America’s warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. The upgraded and expanded wharf enhances MOTSU’s capability to move containers to and from rail, truck and vessels safely and efficiently. 

 “It’s all about velocity and agility,” said Don Parker, deputy commander of Sunny Point. “It’s a huge force protection benefit in today’s environment. “

 The improvements to Center Wharf will increase the speed and volume of ammunition that can be moved through the port, thus reducing the amount of time ammunition ships spend berthed at the port.  The improved throughput will enhance responsiveness to the needs of overseas contingency operations, and reduce risk at the port.

 “This project has been a great cooperative effort between our staff and the Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington District,” said Col. Hagan, Sunny Point commander. “It has solidified a superb working relationship across all of the many continuing projects for which the Corps has oversight at MOTSU. We’ve been in lockstep with each other throughout the project.” 

 Between 1952 and 1955, the Wilmington District completed a major project at Sunny Point, to meet new safety requirements for shipping and handling munitions that emerged after World War II. The project included the three-wharf system and deepened channel that serves them. Ground was broken for this modernization project in October 2008.

 “It’s not often that a Corps of Engineers district commander gets to be on the scene for both the groundbreaking and the dedication of a substantial project,” said Col. Ryscavage. “I’m proud to be here today to complete the process we began in 2008.”

 The Center Wharf Project required extensive collaboration between the Corps of Engineers, the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and Sunny Point’s 596th Transportation Brigade, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) and other local, state and federal entities.  The prime contractor was the joint venture Cashman-Republic.


Release no. 18-062