ANTWERP, Belgium -- Over three hundred vehicles and pieces of equipment arrived in Germany last week, and hundreds more are expected in coming weeks, in an effort to setup and maintain additional in-theater vehicles and equipment for potential us by U.S. forces in support of NATO operations and other efforts throughout the region.
The Army Prepositioned Stock program provides forward-positioned equipment and vehicles for use by U.S. forces in support of contingency operations throughout the European theater. The concept is simple: keep equipment on hand and ready to go, for incoming Soldiers to fall-in on quickly, should the need arise.
Making that happen is far from easy, however, and takes a team of sustainers and logisticians working together to make sure the equipment ready for those rotational forces when they need it, according to Col. Rod Honeycutt, commander of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade.
"Maintaining and transferring APS is a team sport," said Honeycut. "The weight of the entire enterprise is behind this operation, no other force in the world has the reach and capacity to globally redistribute combat power in this magnitude."
The equipment, in this case 300 vehicles brought here from Korea, is delivered to a major port, where it is trans-loaded onto barge, or sometimes rail, and delivered inland to Germany. From there it goes to various different APS sites where it is inventoried, and inspected for operational readiness.
At each APS site, the equipment is constantly checked and maintained to ensure that it will be ready at a moment's notice when it is needed.
The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's 598th Transportation Brigade handles port operations, while the Army Materiel Command's 405th Army Field Support Brigade oversees operations at the various APS sites. The 21st Theater Sustainment Command oversees the entire process and serves as a coordinator between U.S. Army Europe, rotational forces, and the team of sustainers involved in the APS program.
The APS program is a global Army effort with sets of equipment stored strategically around the world. APS is strategically different from the equipment sets currently on hand; the European Activity Set, roughly an armored brigade's-worth of equipment, has been used by rotational forces for exercises and training in Operation Atlantic Resolve and other events in the region during their rotations from the U.S.