CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning toured an Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 warehouse managed by the 401st Army Field Support Brigade here Monday, Sept. 19.
"The Army's pre-positioned stocks in Kuwait, Japan, as well as those we are building up in Europe -- no other service and no other country in the world can do anything like that. It truly sets the United States Army apart and is a remarkable thing to see," Fanning said."
Fanning received short briefings from Army Field Support Battalion-Kuwait personnel and then toured the warehouse and combat enablers, observing the different types of heavy artillery and combat vehicles.
"For us, it's about sustaining the warfighter and providing a strategic advantage for our military and coalition partners," said Lt. Col. Tim Haylett, commander, 401st Army Field Support Battalion-Kuwait.
Particular interest was directed at how equipment is stored, and the effort the battalion is putting into moving more equipment into additional warehouses and how that saves the Army money, said Haylett.
The battalion is scheduled to begin moving equipment into nine new climate-controlled warehouses during the next couple of months, an effort that is projected to save the Army more than $60 million over the course of four years.
"Our top priority is equipping and sustaining the warfighter," Haylett said. "We also have a duty to be good stewards of taxpayer money. So, as the Army continues to invest in APS-5, we can achieve both of those things and ultimately increase readiness on a very large scale."
The 401st AFSB-Kuwait owns and operates the entirety of APS-5, which includes an Armored Brigade Combat Team set, an Infantry Brigade Combat Team set, a Sustainment Brigade set, and an Army Watercraft set, totaling about $5.5 billion worth of equipment.
While the environment continues to change rapidly and present new, complex challenges, APS-5 is key in sourcing operational needs, Haylett said.
The watercraft set, in particular, creates flexibility because the boats can move Class-5 (ammunition) and Class-7 (tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, track vehicles), which are extremely heavy classes of equipment.
The entirety of APS-5 gives strategic planners the opportunity to adapt mission requirements during contingency operations in the region swiftly without having to reach back across the Atlantic Ocean for different or additional combat power.
"Any opportunity to walk top-level leadership through our warehouses and show them firsthand the combat power we have and the flexibility we create is good for strategic planners," Haylett said.
Fanning previously stopped to visit troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. His trip began Sept. 14 and wraps up after a stop in Europe before he returns to Washington.