CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology visited the 401st Army Field Support Brigade here, April 11, to get a firsthand look at how the brigade provides logistic support throughout the U.S. Army Central Command footprint.
Steffanie Easter, acting assistant secretary of the Army (AL&T), toured equipment warehouses and spoke with 401st AFSB Commander, Col. Aaron Stanek about logistic challenges and innovations in supporting such a large area of operation.
"It's been an amazing trip," Easter said. "Even though it's pretty impressive to see all the equipment, it's really the people that make the difference. The expertise that I've seen here and the passion these men and women have for what they do is invigorating and it's encouraging."
The tour began with a briefing at the 401st AFSB headquarters, where Easter and a small group of military leaders and logisticians discussed theater readiness and sustainment strategy, contracted services, military personnel options, and Army Prepositioned Stocks-5.
"The volume of work that is done here really caught my attention. It's a lot of work every day for these men and women," Easter said. "It's very impactful and meaningful for me to be here and be able to see everything up close, and more importantly to talk to the user community and find out what's really happening on the ground."
Easter also toured an APS-5 warehouse and spoke with maintenance and quality assurance experts from the Army Field Support Battalion-Kuwait.
"Having the opportunity to see firsthand the equipment and the men and women who use it every day and to get the perspectives from the pointy end of the spear is extremely valuable for me," Easter said.
"It puts a whole different perspective on things than what I get every day being in the Pentagon," she said. "It helps in thinking about the sustainability of the equipment that we're putting out in the field, and what it means for the Army long-term from a readiness perspective."
Stanek emphasized how teamwork is required to execute such a large mission throughout a large geographic area.
"The 401st AFSB and the 408th CSB are truly nested together, and we work in tandem to accomplish the mission," Stanek said. "Along with ASA (ALT) forward, we really make a strong network of professionals to best support the warfighter and deliver readiness at the point of need."
The 401st AFSB utilizes three Army Field Support Battalions, a Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Battalion and various Logistic Support Elements to provide readiness throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
"We are integrated at the battalion and brigade level, linked with the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, the lifecycle commands, and ultimately the U.S. Army Materiel Command," Stanek said. "We're able to strategize from the bottom to the top with boots on the ground as AMC's face to the field and leverage the power of the Army Materiel Enterprise."
This was Easter's first visit to Kuwait. She also met with logisticians representing U.S. Army Central and the 1st Theater Sustianment Command.