Information Papers

Building Army Prepositioned Stocks

What is it?
The Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS) program supports the National Military Strategy by strategically prepositioning critical war stocks afloat and ashore worldwide and, thus, reducing the deployment response times of the modular expeditionary Army. The APS program consists of prepositioned unit sets of equipment, operational project sets, sustainment stocks and war reserve stocks for Allies. Operational project sets provide specialized capabilities above normal unit equipment authorizations. Sustainment stocks are prepositioned in or near a theater of operations to last until resupply at wartime rates and sea lines of communication are established. Finally, war reserve stocks for allies are located in selected countries that support Allied Force requirements. The centrally managed APS program supports combatant commanders across the range of military operations.

What has the Army done?
The Army issued three APS brigades and supporting equipment (218 unit sets) to the 3rd Infantry Division for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. It also issued operational project sets like the force provider modules that continue to provide base support for both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Army improved the methodology for determining war reserve secondary items based on recent demands related to these operations. Furthermore, the Army developed a new APS strategy to configure and position campaign-quality expeditionary capabilities to meet the emerging 21st century strategic realities. The global importance of APS was demonstrated in the past year. The Army reset the APS capabilities used in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was able to use those sets again to support Operation Iraqi Freedom force increases and acceleration of brigade combat team deployments. Additionally, the maintenance readiness of the brigade set in Korea was raised dramatically while it was reconfigured to the new modular heavy brigade combat team design to support that theater commander's needs. The Army continues to modernize and reset its APS force.

What continued effort does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army senior leadership approved the APS Strategy 2015 in November 2007. The APS Strategy 2015 positions land-based, modular heavy brigade combat teams afloat and modular infantry brigade combat teams at strategic locations worldwide. The APS sets are augmented with essential combat support/combat service support unit sets, medical support sets, watercraft, operational project sets, munitions, and sustainment stocks to support operations in austere environments. In addition, the employment concepts for APS are broadened to include support to emerging combatant commander rotational unit concepts and lesser contingency operations. Finally, APS equipment will continue to be modernized to match unit home station equipment to reduce training requirements upon deployment. The implementation of APS Strategy 2015 will provide combatant commanders with responsive capabilities to execute lesser contingencies and theater security cooperation activities, while reducing lift requirements in the early phases of military operations under the traditional APS role.

Why is it important to the Army?
The relevance of APS to an expeditionary Army at war continues to be demonstrated by continuing support to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. APS remains a critical element of the Army Power Projection Program and supports operations in the Global War on Terrorism. The APS configuration will allow for interface with current and future lift platforms and improve access globally. It will provide both strategic and operational flexibility and responsiveness to the ability of combatant commanders to respond to the full range of contingencies. In addition to being a cornerstone for Army power projection with brigade sets prepositioned worldwide, the operational project sets in APS will continue to provide specialized capabilities, such as inland petroleum distribution systems, force provider base camp modules, mortuary affairs materiel, special operations forces support, bridging equipment, and more. Prepositioned sustainment supplies provide deploying units initial materiel support until lines of communication are opened. APS capabilities remain a critical component of the Army strategy throughout the fielding of the Army’s Future Force. Continued support of the APS transformation strategy is essential to achieve the full capability of the modular expeditionary Army.

Mr. Keith Mostofi (703) 614-1017