By Sharonda Pearson, 401st AFSB Public AffairsJune 26, 2013
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (June 26, 2013) -- As forces in Afghanistan drawdown in preparation for the withdrawal of 34,000 U.S. troops by February 2014, and the end of combat operations by the end of 2014, so will the life support equipment needed to sustain personnel deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
For Mike Treadway, Force Provider logistics manager at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, and Harold J. Ormsbee, Force Provider logistics manager at Kandahar Airfield, that means overseeing the retrograde of all Force Provider systems in Afghanistan.
Bradford Volz, with Product Manager (Forward) for Force Sustainment Systems, says the extent of the mission required personnel to be stationed at Bagram Airfield and Kandahar Airfield -- the only two locations in Afghanistan responsible for preparing Force Provider Equipment for shipment to the continental U.S. -- to efficiently complete the Force Provider retrograde.
"Due to the magnitude of the Force Provider retrograde mission Lieutenant Colonel Paul Brooks, the TACOM Integrated Logistics Support Center, ILSC, team leader, and I decided to assign a person to work at the Kandahar and Bagram retrograde yards," Volz said.
"PM Force Sustainment Systems and TACOM ILSC Force Provider are jointly responsible for overseeing the retrograde of all Force Provider equipment, and the 401st Army Field Support Brigade, is responsible for executing the retrograde," he added.
Force Provider, also known as the Army's Premier Base Camp, is a containerized, highly deployable city that provides Soldiers with the basic necessities for living conditions.
"Major components of the Force Provider module include billeting tents, dining and laundry facilities, showers, latrines, 60K generators, complete Morale, Welfare and Recreation, with temper air beam supported tents, and environmental control units," Ormsbee said.
"Additional add-ons include cold weather kits, prime power kits, energy efficient kits that consist of improved tent and vestibule liners, solar shades, and shower waste reuse systems, all electric kitchens, containerized chapels and waste water evacuation trailers," he added.
Treadway believes the streamlined process at the retrograde yard will enable his team to meet the goal to have all the Force Provider's retrograded and ready for reset at Letterkenny Army Depot, Penn., by the end of fiscal year 2014.
"The yard where the retrograde is being completed is set up with a staging area, sorting area, demil area, fuel drain and purge area, wash rack and customs prep area," Treadway said. "I provide disposition guidance for all equipment received. Identifying which equipment needs to be processed for retrograde, stay in theater for future mission, or offered to units needing support."
Ormsbee believes retrieving Force Provider assets for retrograde will be critical in determining the Army's ability to adequately provide life cycle support to Soldiers in virtually any environment to include training, contingency and combat operations.
"Force Provider enhances combat effectiveness by assuring that the Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine and civilian, receive the high-quality living conditions they deserve while serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom," Ormsbee said. "Executing the retrograde is a major task that requires everyone's support for success, but these items are critically needed to keep our reset production line open so we can be prepared for future contingencies.