SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Under the cover of darkness, or in the middle of the day, across the seas and in the air, soldiers in a room in southern Illinois are directing, and moving, negotiating cargo in and out of Afghanistan.
The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base is one of the military's nine worldwide commands.
"This small airbase in southern Illinois moves cargo around the entire world," said Col. Glenn Baca, Chief of Operations of SDDC. "What happened in Afghanistan today happened in this room 60 days ago because you have to set things into motion."
Col. Baca and his soldiers are tracking thousands of pieces of military equipment, food, and supplies through satellite tags and other tracking devices. They know where their shipments are at every hour of the day.
SDDC must move $36 billion worth of U.S. Government equipment out of Afghanistan by the end of this year.
"The biggest specifically identifiable piece of equipment is probably the MWRAP, which is the mine resistant vehicle," said Baca.
The 20 or 40 foot containers full of small pieces of equipment is what we've moved out in the largest number. It's not just equipment they're moving. They direct fruits, veggies and other foods in and out of the country.
"Bacon moving through America causes no problems. Bacon moving through central Asia causes significant problems," said Baca.
Security is an issue too. Violence is a real security threat in Afghanistan and its bordering countries. Baca said the military will sometimes use drones or ship cargo at night "so you have a lower signature or you move in areas where there aren't enough people."