401st ROC Drill rehearses retrograde
December 10, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--A two-day rehearsal of concept drill was conducted by the 401st Army Field Support Brigade to review past practices, discuss what worked and what did not work and lastly plan for future equipment retrograde missions.
Battalion and logistics task force commanders and non-commissioned officers in charge from across the 401st gathered at the AFSBn-Bagram redistribution property assistance team area for two days of intense discussion and learning.
"RPAT operations are the center of everything we do," said Col. Mark A. Paget, 401st AFSB commander, in his opening remarks. "We rely on processes, standards and discipline and I really want to set conditions for your success."
"The LTFs are all different," said Command Sgt. Maj. Charlie G. Chavez, 401st command sergeant major. "Some are larger, some have better facilities, but we need to validate retrograde SOPs [standard operating procedures] across the CJOA [combined joint operations area] so the process is the same for units everywhere."
Processes and procedures used by AFSBn-BAF during the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and by AFSBn-Kandahar during the 4/82 off-ramp missions were discussed and evaluated for lessons learned that can be used to improve future missions.
Everyone had an opportunity to walk through each step of the turn-in processes for both rolling stock and non-rolling stock. They also had a chance to climb all over mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles to look for brass and ammunition. Ammunition abatement is a critical step in clearing a vehicle for return to a source of repair in the United States. Failure to find all ammunition could result in serious injury to personnel who provide extensive refurbishment and upgrades at depots in the U.S.
Soldiers from the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and the 27th Brigade, a New York National Guard unit, assisted four-person teams in locating brass and ammo on several vehicles. They used new camera systems and tools they have fabricated to meet their needs to look up and under to find 'hot spots' where ammunition and bass are frequently found lodged. All spent brass and ammunition must be cleared from vehicles prior to shipment out of theater or prior to work being done on vehicles.
The two-day drill ended with many due-outs for more information or further work and research, but the consensus was that it was a valuable experience.
Colonel Paget ended the second day by challenging the group with the question, "Are you strong?" and the group enthusiastically replied, "Army Strong, sir!"