When a brigade deploys the Soldiers may be gone, but behind the scenes, the 3rd Battalion of the 407th Army Field Support Brigade, continues forward to keep Fort Riley ready for action.

A part of Army Materiel Command, the 3rd Battalion at Fort Riley is just one part of the 407th, one of seven field support brigades managed by the Army Sustainment Command out of Rock Island, Ill.

According to Sandy Pogue, deputy for the 3/407th, the battalion handles the equipment left behind after a brigade deploys. Some equipment isn't used on deployments because it may not pertain to the mission a unit is sent to do, he said.

"We get a list of all of the units that are leaving, and we induct all of their left-behind equipment, even if it's a platoon," Pogue said, though equipment from much larger units is routinely inducted into the AMC's program.

"When (brigades) leave, we take over their motor pools, and I move in contractors that work for us. We repair all of their equipment and leave it in their motor pools in company sets. That becomes a ready pool," Pogue explained.

Once a motor pool is placed in the ready pool, the equipment then is distributed to other units still on post who are short on equipment.

"Whatever is left is what's left for the brigade when they come back (from deployment)," he said.

That is only half of the job, though.

Once the brigade does return home, Pogue said, the commander of that brigade has 180 days to get all of the equipment coming with the unit ready for combat.

During that time, the 3/407th AFSB is hard at work, first repairing the weapons Soldiers used so they can do individual training after coming back from block leave.

While individual training takes place, Pogue and his team induct all of the radios, vehicles, unmanned vehicles and intelligence and communication systems into a process called the Support Readiness and Maintenance Readiness Review.

Within these reviews, Pogue said, the leading officers can ask where any remaining pieces of equipment are, and, then discuss how and when the commanders of redeploying brigades will have all of their equipment turned in to be certified.

Once the 180-day period is finished and all of the equipment has been placed in the ready pool, the brigade commander can put his full training cycle into effect.

"Now he goes into collective training, company, platoon, battalion and brigade-level training because he has all of his equipment," Pogue said.

Responsible for supporting the active Army, Reserve component and National Guard units in Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, the 3rd Battalion has no shortage of equipment to take in and repair.

Currently the unit is taking in equipment from the 1st Maintenance Company, and, preparing to take in the equipment left behind by the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team once it deploys.

The 3/407th AFSB has reset more than 50,000 pieces of equipment and currently maintains left behind equipment for more than four active brigades. This past year, the battalion has spent about $78 million in direct support of warfighters at Fort Riley and the surrounding area.

Page last updated Wed July 22nd, 2009 at 16:50