By Staff Sgt. Michael BehlinDecember 14, 2015
MUMAICIAI, Lithuania (Dec. 14, 2015) -- More than 100 pieces of European Activity Set, or EAS, equipment used during Operation Atlantic Resolve will be turned at a storage site in Mumaiciai, Lithuania, Dec. 9-15.
EAS is an Army-owned, Army Materiel Command managed equipment set that enables more efficient employment of the regionally-allocated force.
The equipment turned in consisted of M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Humvees and other wheeled vehicles used by the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division during its rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Storage of EAS equipment within allied and partnered nations allows regionally-allocated forces easier access whenever it is needed. While EAS storage sites are in the works for Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania's is the first in the Baltic region to be operational.
The site will be managed by the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, or AFSB, who will also be responsible for the storage and upkeep of the EAS equipment.
"We execute the maintenance, supply and storage for the equipment sets that the rotating forces use," said Col. Todd S. Bertulis, commander of the 405th AFSB. "In the 405th, we're focused on all, those that are assigned to Europe and those who rotate in."
Bertulis said his unit overcame many challenges with the development of the EAS site. He mentioned that he and other leaders visited the site several times to ensure the facilities would accommodate the amount of equipment and services required of them.
He said the development of the site would not be successful without the help of the Lithuanian government and land forces. Both organizations have been "understanding and accommodating," Bertulis said.
Lithuania's EAS site will save regionally-allocated forces time and resources, said Col. Phil Brooks, commander of the 1st ABCT, 3rd Infantry Division. Brooks said the site will allow units the opportunity to focus more on training objectives during their time in country.
"The EAS site will rapidly enable our ability to conduct reception, staging, onward movement and integration into the countries throughout Operation Atlantic Resolve," Brooks said. "This would allow us to get into the country, build our combat power and initiate our training in accordance with our training schedule."
Brooks said his Soldiers were able train with allied forces, and focus on individual objectives in order sustain readiness while deployed in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
"It's been great to come here and receive equipment and have the opportunity to train on our mission essential tasks while serving as the regionally-allocated force," Brooks said. "I'm proud of all the Soldiers operating in multiple countries who continue to train and sustain readiness while deployed."
The location of Lithuania's EAS will be beneficial for future regionally allocated forces because of neighboring resources, Lithuanian Land Forces leadership said.
Col. Sigitas Mundris, commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces' Logistics Command, said the "location is very operational and suitable for what it's being used for."
"There's an airport, railhead and seaport all in close proximity of this site, which made it very attractive to the EAS project," he said.
Mundris said that he is proud of the efforts put forth by his country in assisting to develop the EAS site, but acknowledged that it would not have been possible without help from allied nations.
"For a small country, it's impossible to do our job defending our nation and region without help from the international logistics community," Mundris said. "Therefore, what we are doing with the U.S. and other allied nations is the only tool to achieve our security goals in the region."
The EAS originally consisted of a single combat arms battalion set that provided equipment, but has since expanded to a full Armored Brigade Combat Team, or ABCT, primarily employed to conduct Operation Atlantic Resolve activities.
EAS consists of 12,000 total pieces of equipment, of which approximately 250 are tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and self-propelled howitzers. Approximately 1,750 other pieces are support vehicles.
EAS sites currently are located in Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania.