By Sgt. Christopher E Freeman (FORSCOM)May 6, 2013
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The sun rises and shadows cascade off oil filters, tires and rows of boxes containing various items from screws to engines, all waiting to do their part in keeping Soldiers and units ready to roll. The parts are neatly on display, ready to be grabbed up and put to use.
In an ongoing effort to lower day-to-day maintenance costs across the U.S. Army's motor pools, the U.S. Army Forces Command Material Redistribution Team program manages a database of parts that saves the Army millions of dollars every year.
On 13 Army installations across the United States, F-MRT facilities--commonly referred to as "free-issue yards"--keep FORSCOM from purchasing parts it already has, resulting in savings across the FORSCOM footprint of active-duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard units.
FORSCOM units use F-MRT as a cost offset to improve unit readiness posture and optimize the expenditure of resources. Last year, the program recovered about $95 million in parts and was able to redistribute $35 million worth of equipment to units.
Just three months into 2013, F-MRT facilities received more than $20.5 million worth of clothing, fortification materials, repair items and basic-issue items. Roughly $10.2 million of that has already been reissued at no cost to FORSCOM units.
The purpose of the F-MRT program is to bring excess parts from unit motor pools to one location and make them available for other units to use, said Sgt. Maj. Jaime Barraza, the FORSCOM G-4 sergeant major.
"The units will contact the [F-MRT] manager on the installation letting them know that they have excess parts," said Barraza. "Units can either bring them to the free- issue yard or make an appointment for them to be picked up."
When excess parts are brought to the F-MRT they are inspected for serviceability, said Barraza. After verifying the part is in good condition it is added to the inventory.
Parts that are deemed unserviceable are turned in to the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Service--formerly the Defense Reutilization Management Office--on the unit's behalf.
"[The F-MRT] helps us get rid of items we don't need," said Spc. Leon Mercer, an automated logistics specialist assigned to Troop E, 1st Squadron, 73rd Calvary Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. "This way there aren't parts just lying around the motor pool collecting dust."
To spread the word about the potential savings opportunities, a list of the current F-MRT inventory is emailed to every motor sergeant on the program's distribution roster. The list includes parts available to FORSCOM units on 13 installations across the country: Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Stewart, Ga. and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
"At these locations, we currently maintain about $17 million worth of inventory in excess of 38,000 [parts]," said Bryan Lowe, F-MRT program manager.
In addition to being cost effective, the F-MRT process reduces the amount of time it takes for units to receive parts, said Barraza, who strongly recommends reviewing the list before ordering parts.
"When you order an item without checking with the F-MRT, you are putting money towards a part that is [possibly] sitting here," said Barraza.
For more information and to access the F-MRT free parts list, please visit https://guardianx.forscom.army.mil/cmr/.