NOVO SELO RANGE, Bulgaria (July 2017) -- Elements of 409th Contracting Support Brigade and 405th Army Field Support Battalion-Germany recently combined staffs and stood up the first combined Army Materiel Command- Forward mission command element here.
The two staffs -- with missions on different sides of the sustainment spectrum -- joined forces to conduct mission command of all European AMC equities in support of Exercise Saber Guardian 2017.
Saber Guardian 2017 is a U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe-led multinational military exercise involving approximately 25,000 military personnel from 23 participating nations. The exercise is part of U.S. European Command's Joint Exercise Program designed to enhance joint combined interoperability between Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, U.S., NATO Allies and other Partnership for Peace nations.
AMC Forward deployed 44 military personnel, 33 Army civilians and 481 KBR contractors in support of SG17 and adjacent missions. The AMC enterprise provided sustainment readiness for 14,279 people, at 18 different sites, across four countries. The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program supported the sites and the 409th CSB conducted their core mission essential task of contract oversight.
The 405th AFSBn provided far-forward logistics technical support and reach-back capability for the tactical units engaged in the exercise.
The 409th CSB supported the exercise by contracting for port services at the Port of Constanta, Romania, non-tactical vehicle contracts for USAREUR and bus services for the 16th Sustainment Brigade. The CSB executed 15 contract actions throughout Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary valued at over $1.9 million in support of the exercise.
The 409th CSB's Contingency Contracting Administration Services Division leveraged the EUCOM LOGCAP IV task order to mobilize KBR subcontracted assets in the provision of life support and logistical services, including field feeding, billeting, material handling equipment, and transportation.
The 409th's CCAS personnel also coordinated mobilization and demobilization of contracted life support area construction and convoy support center construction at 19 separate locations across four nations. In all, more than 1,400 host nation employees -- working with subcontracted local businesses -- were involved in facilitating success of the contracted supporting effort.
405th AFSBn-Germany deployed its forward mission command element to Novo Selo Range and imbedded their Brigade Logistics Support Teams with the exercise's major brigade combat teams -- 10th Combat Aviation Brigade; 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division; 2nd Cavalry Regiment; and 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
These BLSTs provided technical support and reach back capability from AMC entities in Europe and the continental U.S. Along with 405th AFSBn Support Operations, they were able to array and deploy Logistics Assistance Representatives and specialized contractors from all AMC Lifecycle Management Commands; Joint Munitions Command, Aviation and Missile Command, Tank and Automotive Command, Communications and Electronics Command, as well as Research Development and Engineering Command.
Early in the exercise, AMCOM LARs and 405th AFSBn provided immediate logistics assistance while reacting to an on-ground accidental rotor strike between two 10th CAB Blackhawk Helicopters.
"The immediate support provided showcased how responsive these LARs are," said Maj. Matthew Thompson, 10th CAB BLST chief, commenting on the "over the horizon" support provided by low-density LARs. "We only have so many these AMCOM LARs, so they cover a wide area. Within notification of the strike, our LAR was on ground at the site within 48 hours -- poised to troubleshoot and clear the mechanical systems as soon as the unit was ready."
Col. Douglas Lowrey, commander 409th Contracting Brigade, and Lt. Col. Charles McPhail, commander 405th AFSBn-Germany, the commander and deputy commander of the AMC forward element, provided guidance throughout the duration of the exercise and commented on this style of a combined AMC mission control element.
"There is a good chance that this is the combined AMC TOC of the future," said Lowrey. "The contracting and logistics missions are different, but there is a good amount of overlap. We need to be able to position AMC far forward and have our presence known to the warfighter, so when they see the AMC patch, they know that someone can get them the support they need."