KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany- Soldiers from the 7th Mission Support Command assembled at Panzer Kaserne to learn how to rapidly deploy a new generation tent system designed by its Soldiers.
The 6,000 square foot star-shaped Tactical Command Post is a modular, portable and expandable system that can quickly be built to provide a brigade-sized operations center and shelter for up to 200 people, said contractor Tom A. Galbicsek, a retired Army Soldier.
Complete with portable twin 250 kilowatt-hour generators supplying electricity for lighting, ventilation, heating and air conditioning modules, the tent system is built on a six-way hub that supports conferencing and staff command operations for the 7th MSC's missions in various deployment zones, said Galbicsek.
"It's designed to withstand high winds of up to 80 miles per hour and can support snow loads of up to 20 pounds per square foot in temperatures ranging from -40 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit," he added.
The tent was conceived after Soldiers from the 7th MSC wanted more flexibility over other available tent designs, said Army Sgt. 1st Class Edward Johnson of the G4 (supply) of the 7th MSC.
Johnson is one of the planners of the new tent system.
What the 7th MSC staff basically wanted was an expandable system that would allow an advanced small party to immediately deploy with an initial pack of two tents on a trailer, said Johnson.
The tent system concept supports the quick augmentation of the advance party by the Soldiers of the rest of the command who would bring and assemble further tent modules as the mission tempo increases, he said.
Johnson worked closely with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency to source a flexible tent supplier willing to build to the unique requirements of the 7th MSC, an Army Reserve Command providing forward-stationed consequence management and civil affairs assets to the U.S. Army in Europe.
After Galbicsek's firm won the contract, work began on designing the tent together with Johnson and the 7th MSC staff.
One of the unique features of the tent system is, despite its sprawling full size, it requires almost no tools to assemble, Galbicsek said.
The aluminum profile frames have milled interlocking joints and the sewn laminate outer skins are joined by textile fasteners, he added.
"It's easy to set up," said Staff Sgt. Jose F. Ruberte a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico and a Reserve Soldier in the 7th MSC participating in the training.
With so many parts coming out of the large green transport boxes, the initial assembly seemed tricky, he said. But practice quickly helped him and the other Soldiers to understand how to build the tent.
Plans are now underway to add both dining facility and housing modules, said Johnson.