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Storm Causes Minor Damage to Vehicles, Household Goods

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2000 – About 180 privately owned vehicles belonging to service members suffered minor damage en route from the United States to Bremerhaven, Germany, said Military Traffic Management Command officials.

The vehicles and possibly some household good were damaged when the Faust -- a contracted cargo ship -- encountered hurricane force winds in the English Channel Nov. 5.

At press time, MTMC officials are unable to determine if any of the household goods suffered damage from leaking diesel fuel.

"Diesel fuel leaked onto some of the wooden household goods containers, but we don't know if the liquid seeped inside," Army Col. John V. Brown, commander of the 598th Transportation Group in Rotterdam, Netherlands, said during telephone interview. "By law, we can't break the customs seals to check for seepage until the containers are delivered to the customer."

After waiting out the storm in Le Havre, France, the Faust docked at Bremerhaven Nov. 9. "The vehicles have been unloaded and are being cleaned inside and out," Brown said. "But, so far, there is no indication of damage to the inside of the vehicles.

"The Faust ran into some high winds going through the English Channel," he said. "A piece of Air Force cargo broke loose and hit a diesel fuel tank. Fuel spilled over portions of the ship damaging some of the cargo."

Under an MTMC global privately owned vehicle contract instituted about two years ago, Brown said, customers can file a claim on-the-spot and receive payment for damages. "If they're not satisfied with the contractor's office, they can file a claim against the government through JAG," he noted.

Visit the DoD "It's Your Move" web site at www.defenselink.mil/specials/itsyourmove/.

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