CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The 401st Army Field Support Brigade issued rolling stock from Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 to 82nd Airborne Division Soldiers here, Feb. 6.
A total of 26 vehicles were activated from APS-5 and issued to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in a span of only three days.
"For us it's more than just signing for some vehicles and doing some layouts," said Capt. Jeremy Mounticure, administration and logistics operation center officer in charge, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. "It's taking the attention to detail to make sure that we get our Soldiers the best quality equipment."
The process was extremely smooth and efficient, said Mounticure.
"We asked the team of the 401st ASFSB to do what they normally have two weeks to a month to do in a much shorter period of time," Mounticure said. "The 401st AFSB here has gone above and beyond in providing multiple teams to help us draw our equipment. It's a tremendous level of detail that they've put forth, as far as briefing us well and ensuring that we know what's supposed to happen to ensure we have the best equipment available."
The execution was a demonstration of increased speed of issue, which is currently a top priority for the 401st AFSB said Maj. Steve Smith, support operations officer, 401st AFSB.
"Issuing those 26 vehicles in a total of three days between inventory and onward transport is a significant accomplishment for the brigade," Smith said. "Usually we tell the gaining unit to expect around 15 days as a planning factor because of the amount of work that is required to consolidate the equipment, fit it for use and coordinate with the gaining unit."
The first day of the event consisted of the gaining unit performing a full inventory and serviceability inspection of every piece of received equipment -- from the trucks themselves down to each spare socket wrench and lug nut.
The proceeding two days involved taking possession of the equipment and moving it to the forward area of operation.
"For our team and our Army Field Support Battalion-Kuwait along with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command team to really put it all together and make this happen for the 2nd of the 82nd is pretty significant," Smith said.
"I'm a logistician, and this is what we do. We take care of the warfighter as much as we possibly can and get them what they need."
Though the actual equipment issue process took only three days, the planning process to determine what equipment was needed began more than two years prior.
The initial Operational Needs Statement (ONS) requesting equipment was submitted to the Department of the Army G4 (logistics) in early 2015.
"The gaining unit had the equipment essentially on hold in between submitting the request about two years ago and receiving it now," Smith said. "They anticipated the requirement when they did their battle plan. They figured out this is something they were going to need and they planned with tremendous foresight."
A newer version of the requested Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles became available after the initial ONS was submitted, which the 401st AFSB had to account for and update in the interest of providing the best equipment possible, said Smith.
The 401st AFSB and its AFSBn-Kuwait also facilitated an unforeseen technology requirement -- something they were fortunate to provide on short notice, said Smith.
The entirety of APS-5 is constantly examined and adjusted in an attempt to maximize its readiness as strategic planners try to anticipate emerging needs throughout the U.S. Army Central Command footprint.
As new equipment is made available and older equipment is phased out, the 401st AFSB maintains currently unused equipment as a matter of thorough planning for possible emerging theater requirements.
"This was really one of those cases where the planning pays off," Smith said. "We didn't anticipate that the gaining unit in this case would need certain technology systems to be installed in the vehicles.
"The mere fact that our team and our predecessors had that understanding of logistics and that anticipatory attitude about their work, it says a lot. This was a completely unforecasted technology requirement but we were able to pull it together and provide it to the customer at the eleventh hour."
It doesn't always work out, however.
"It's kind of a heartbreaking experience as a logistician when you can't take care of somebody because it wasn't forecasted and it wasn't anticipated," Smith said. "Some things you can't anticipate and it's really tough for us to tell the warfighter, 'sorry, we don't have that.'"
Despite the challenges presented by unforeseen technology requirements, lack of muscle memory in ONS fulfillment of this magnitude and tight time restraints, this equipment issue process was a success, said Smith.
"At the end of the day the warfighter had a need and we fulfilled that need," Smith said. "We have some great takeaways and some great lessons learned. Of course, there are always things where we have room to improve upon, but they got what they need and they got it in three days."
The 401st AFSB owns and operates the entirety of APS-5, which is managed in Kuwait by the AFSBn-Kuwait and 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.