A modular organization will replace the five
types of movement control teams now in the field. Each modular
team will be able to perform all movement control functions.
The Army movement control team (MCT) is changing. The current
structure of five separate MCTs, each designed for a specialized
mission, is being replaced with a “one size fits all” multifunctional,
modular team. This initiative will provide the foundation
for movement control in the modular Army.
The Army Transportation Corps (TC) has been modular at the
battalion and group levels for years. This has allowed TC motor
transport, terminal, and movement control battalions the flexibility
to task-organize for specific missions and operations. Under
the “modular concept,” TC units will be even more
modular and capable of task-organizing at the company, platoon,
detachment, and team levels. It will be possible to detach
identical units from their parent units and place (“plug
and play”) them in any environment.
MCTs have been deployed and used to conduct missions outside
of their doctrinal scopes in the Balkans and in Operations
Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Two examples of this can
be seen in the employment of MCTs by the 14th Transportation
Battalion (Movement Control), which is based in Vicenza, Italy.
The 497th MCT (Port) provided area movement control support
in Iraq, and the 99th MCT (Area) worked at the air base in
Aviano, Italy. Another example was the deployment of the 49th
Transportation Battalion (Movement Control) to Operation Iraqi
Freedom: The 133d MCT (Division Support) performed the role
of a port MCT at Umm Qasr, Iraq.
These examples show that the transformation of the five types
of MCTs—port, area, division support, cargo documentation,
and movement regulating—into one modular team reflects
the reality of today’s operations. This concept will
provide the Army with a standard pool of teams resourced
to perform all movement control missions.
Movement control is the planning, routing,
scheduling, controlling, coordination, and in-transit visibility
(ITV) of personnel,
units, equipment, and supplies moving over multiple lines of
communication. It involves synchronizing and integrating logistics
efforts with other elements that span the spectrum of military
operations. The MCT is the basic and most critical level in
the movement control process. MCTs are the common point of
contact for mode operators and users of transportation.
The five current MCT types are designed around specific nodes
• The port MCT has 18 personnel (4 officers, 1 warrant officer, and 13
enlisted Soldiers) and is positioned at air terminals or seaports within the
theater to coordinate expeditious clearance of personnel and cargo.
• The area MCT has 13 personnel (1 officer, 1 warrant officer, and 11
enlisted Soldiers) and coordinates transportation support for movement requirements
in a given geographical location.
• The division support MCT has seven personnel (one officer, one warrant
officer, and five enlisted Soldiers). It is an element of a corps movement control
battalion (MCB) that is attached to the division transportation office (DTO)
to augment and support DTO operations.
• The movement regulating team (MRT) has 16 personnel (1 officer, 1 warrant
officer, and 14 enlisted Soldiers) and operates in separate sections throughout
the area of operations to observe, assess, and report on movement operations.
• The cargo documentation team has eight personnel (one officer, one warrant
officer, and six enlisted Soldiers) and provides cargo documentation for
the transshipment of cargo at water, air, motor, and rail terminals.
These structures were adequate for the static and linear battlefield of the
Cold War. As the Army transforms and faces new foes operating in a nonlinear,
noncontiguous environment, it is imperative that the MCT have the ability to
accomplish multiple tasks from multiple locations.
The current design of specialized MCTs allows very little flexibility in today’s
high operating tempo environment. Over the past decade, and as a result of the
ongoing Global War on Terrorism, the requirement for numerous movement control
capabilities has increased. This requirement has put a strain on the Active
and Reserve components, which, in many cases, had to place a team on the battlefield
to perform missions for which it was not designed, trained, or equipped.
control battalion will have 4 to 10 movement control
teams. Each team will have 21 Soldiers.
Creating a Modular MCT
In September 2003, the Army’s Chief of
Transportation, Major General Brian I. Geehan, directed combat
at the Army Combined Arms Support Command to standardize
by merging the functions and capabilities of the current
five specialized designs into a modular and multifunctional
that can perform all movement control functions at any node
or in any geographical area. The result is the modular MCT
(Standard Requirements Code 55506GA00).
The modular MCT is a 21-Soldier team (1 captain, 2 first
lieutenants, and 18 enlisted personnel) created with the
capability to perform
every type of movement control mission. It is designed to
provide maximum flexibility in its employment. Each team
has a headquarters section and four identical subunits (or
The MCT can operate as a single team or separately at up
to four different locations. For example, a single modular
can be deployed initially to provide movement control functions
at an airfield while simultaneously providing cargo documentation.
As the mission expands, the team can deploy a section onto
the main supply routes (MSRs) to conduct MRT operations.
As the operation matures, that same MCT can operate at a
airfield or seaport. The operational use of the MCT can
be specifically tailored to the mission and operational environment.
The standardization of MCTs increases the number of teams
available for deployment, since each unit is modular in the
truest sense of that term.
Modular MCT Missions
The modular MCT is designed to be able to provide
movement control on a 24-hour basis. Movement control procedures
will still follow the guidelines established in Field Manual
4–01.30, Movement Control. The MCT will be able to conduct
the following missions—
• Validate transportation requirements and coordinate transportation support,
highway clearance, and inbound clearance for moving units, personnel, and cargo.
• Coordinate transportation movements, diversions, reconsignments, and
transfers of units, cargo, and personnel.
• Provide technical expertise to transportation users within its assigned
area of responsibility.
• Provide ITV of unit equipment and sustainment cargo movements in an assigned
• Observe, assess, and report on the progress of tactical and nontactical
transportation movements along MSRs or alternate supply routes and through critical
• Adjust movement schedules as necessary to coordinate the movement of
• Provide first-destination reporting points.
• Provide as many as four sections to separate locations, each providing
a different aspect of movement control.
• Commit transportation assets.
Personnel and Equipment
The modular MCT was designed with the doctrinal
tenet of fluid and flexible movements in mind. This is evident
personnel and the equipment in the MCT. The personnel structure
gives the correct mix of skill levels and leadership to
provide movement control at up to four separate locations
The approved equipment list is also a critical part of
attaining flexibility. For example, if mission, enemy,
time, and civilian considerations (METT–TC) factors
dictate that the MCT needs to be split into four sections
in different locations, each section can be properly
equipped with the vehicles, communications equipment,
Management Information Systems, and generators it needs
to operate independently.
The equipment mix for this new team is more robust than
the current five designs. It includes up-armored high-mobility,
multipurpose wheeled vehicles; the Transportation Coordinators’ Automated
Information for Movement System; and the Movement Tracking
System. Soldiers and leaders from the field provided maximum
input to the creation of this equipment list. For example,
past and present movement controllers stated that two radios
are required at each site to allow the MCT to monitor the
network as well as the supported customers’ network,
so combat developers designed the equipment list with enough
radios to meet this requirement.
The unit personnel and equipment lists will increase the
effectiveness of each MCT. The design will allow the MCB
commander to use
a set of 4 to 10 teams to cover a variety of missions at
6 to 15 sites simultaneously and to change the team placement
and mission as the situation changes day to day. The intent
is to provide maximum capability and flexibility to the MCB
commander and the warfighter by providing them with the
personnel and equipment to carry out the mission.
Theater Distribution of MCTs
Modular MCTs will be assigned to the theater
sustainment command (TSC) and attached to MCBs to decentralize
responsibilities on an area basis or at essential transportation
nodes. They will be further attached (for operational control
and tactical control) to sustainment brigades and brigade
combat teams (BCTs). The MCTs are designed to be able
to operate independently of MCBs if the size and scope
mission requires them to do so.
The current planning allocation of MCTs in a theater of
operations is one per aerial port of embarkation or debarkation,
per sea port of embarkation or debarkation, one per distribution
hub, one per sustainment brigade, one per 100 miles of MSR,
and two per sustainment brigade in the corps. The number
of MCTs in the division and corps sustainment brigades
to change based on METT–TC. The current design also
allows for one MCT per BCT headquarters, thus allowing one
movement control section (one subunit) to be allocated to
each BCT brigade support area, with the headquarters section
with the division G–4 transportation officer. (This
is subject to change in upcoming rules-of-allocation conferences.)
No changes are planned for the MCB headquarters. The MCB
will continue to provide command, control, and technical
to 4 to 10 MCTs, provide asset visibility and maintain
ITV of tactical and nontactical moves within its assigned
area (including unit moves and convoys,) assist in planning
and executing plans and operations, apply and meet movement
priorities provided by the TSC and sustainment brigade,
and support end-to-end distribution. The MCB also will
coordinate with host nation authorities for cargo transfer
road clearances, border clearances, escort support, and
transportation support. The MCB will have as many subordinate
MCTs as needed
to operate in its area of operations, based on the number
customers, air terminals, rail terminals, seaports, and
MSRs it must support. The MCB will provide logistics support
the MCTs under its command and control. MCTs operating
away from their headquarters, however, will require logistics
support from other units.
There are currently 121 resourced MCTs across the Active
and Reserve components, totaling 1,639 TC Soldier positions.
the Army is resourcing 110 of the new modular MCTs, which
will create a total of 2,310 positions. This increase
importance of movement control to the modular Army. The
conversion of MCTs will begin in fiscal year 2007 and be
the end of fiscal year 2009.
The redesign of the MCT is an important part of Army transformation.
This multifunctional, modular unit will be better able
to support the Army Chief of Staff’s intent to create
a modular “brigade-based” Army
that is more responsive to the regional combatant commanders’ needs,
facilitates force packaging and rapid deployment, and operates
as self-contained units on the nonlinear, noncontiguous
Major Jonathan G. Cameron is a combat developer
in the Distribution Division, Force Development Directorate,
of the Army Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia.
He has a bachelor’s degree in marine affairs from the
University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in logistics
management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is
a graduate of the Transportation Officer Basic Course, the
Combined Logistics Captains Career Course, the Combined Arms
and Services Staff School, and the Logistics Executive Development