By Staff Sgt. Alexander BurnettAugust 7, 2013
BAMBERG, Germany - There is a team that is always prepared to travel and support a unit in need. Their skills are varied, but their goal is always the same. When a unit inactivates in Europe and has equipment to leave behind, they are there for the harvest.
Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians and German local nationals with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command's Task Force-Harvest helped units at Warner Barracks inactivate July 29 through Aug. 9.
The members of TF-Harvest aided in the inactivation of units assigned to the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) and other units at Warner Barracks by inventorying and assessing turned-in, nonexpendable equipment. As units inactivate, their gear is accounted for, checked for quality and possible maintenance and the future of each piece must be determined.
"When these units inactivate and installations close, all that equipment needs to be accounted for and something needs to be done with it," said Sgt. 1st Class Dukens Boucher, the TF-Harvest noncommissioned officer in charge and a native of Miami. "We document each piece of equipment, assess any damage or repair needs and then decide what to do with it. We determine the fastest and most effective way to reset, repair or redistribute that piece of equipment to units that need it. By doing this, we save the Army and the government a lot of money."
At each installation TF-Harvest visits, the inactivating units turn in vehicles, computers, printers, radios, shipping containers, weapons, medical equipment, water pumps, trailers, phones and any other non-expendable equipment. Regardless of the unit or installation, each visit from TF-Harvest results in millions of dollars in equipment being turned in, said Boucher.
"We aren't even half-way through this mission to Bamberg and we are already in the multimillion dollar range for turn in," said Boucher.
Another benefit to units enlisting the help of TF-Harvest is the availability of personnel. With the members of TF-Harvest conducting inventory, assessment and determining how each piece of equipment will be re-used, personnel organic to inactivating units can focus on their mission instead of the turn in.
"Since we are here providing accountability, quality control, travel orders and database upload for a unit's equipment, their supply personnel are free to focus on their mission and keep unit inactivation on schedule," said Staff Sgt. Michael D. Taylor, the TF-Harvest floor noncommissioned officer and a native of San Augustine, Texas. "It's also beneficial to have a team from the top of the supply food-chain, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, come to their location and provide this service."
TF-Harvest began in 2005, when U.S. Army Europe began inactivating and relocating units to coincide with the restructuring of the U.S. Army presence in Europe, in line with the national defense strategy to support combatant commanders, NATO and European Allies.
"Since fiscal year 2009, TF-Harvest has handled and moved equipment valued at $691,893, 262," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Edward S. Massequoi, the TF-Harvest officer in charge and a native of Washington, D.C. "Of that, $19,834,670 was directly re-issued to units in U.S. Army Europe and $401,613,889 was repaired and re-issued."
No matter where in Europe and Army unit is inactivating and no matter how much equipment that unit needs to turn in, the members of TF-Harvest say they are ready to assist.
"We are like the Supermen of logistics without the kryptonite," said Taylor. "Where ever there is a need, we will be there."