FORT STEWART, Ga. -- During a National Training Center rotation at Fort Irwin, California, the 1-3 Brigade Logistics Support Team provided reinforcing support to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, while the brigade executed its culminating exercise prior to it shipping out to the Pacific Command.
After months of challenging and realistic training, the Raider Brigade will replace the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division in South Korea for a nine-month tour.
The BLST, from Fort Stewart, Georgia, was tasked during this rotation lasting Oct. 16- Nov. 3 to integrate and synchronize the U.S. Army Materiel Command's unique capabilities and its enablers in efforts to improve 1-3 ABCT's organic sustainment and materiel readiness capabilities.
It is part of the 406th Army Field Support Brigade, one of seven brigades whose higher headquarters is the U.S. Army Sustainment Command. ASC integrates and synchronizes the delivery of AMC capabilities and enablers at the operational and tactical points of need.
The BLST, consisting of 14 personnel, accomplished this by focusing and customizing acquisition, logistics, and technology support. Additionally, two crucial tactics, techniques, and procedures, were implemented, which paid dividends throughout the rotation.
With the first TTP, 1-3 BLST employed the assistance of Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's specialty teams such as a Supply and Transportation Assistance Team, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Team and an Abrams Team. TACOM unites all of the Army organizations that focus on Soldier and ground systems throughout the entire life cycle of the equipment.
The BLST began working with TACOM two months before the NTC rotation and learned it was an asset to increasing the ABCT combat readiness. Consequently, the BLST integrated the specialty teams as an AMC reach-back capability and conducted weekly teleconferences which continued throughout the rotation.
These teams assisted in the prioritization of item manager priorities for asset release, and provided the BLST with enterprise-level solutions for long lead-time parts which included fabrication and pulling from depot programs. These teams took ownership of all enterprise-level issues, not just those specific to TACOM.
Additionally, during the rotation, 1-3 BLST increased the frequency of updates to the TACOM teams from weekly to daily. As a result, the teams had an almost real-time situation awareness of the ABCT's material challenges.
The second crucial TTP that proved beneficial was the utilization of a detailed Common Operating Picture.
BLST refined and utilized a COP -- a summary of what multiple parties see and record -- from its previous rotation seven months earlier, focusing on informing the enterprise of materiel and sustainment challenges, and efforts being taken to resolve these challenges.
"A comprehensive logistical Common Operation Picture is the foundation upon which a Brigade Logistics Support Team operation should be focused," said Donald Sankey, BLST logistics management specialist. "If the basic logistics support cannot be given to the warfighters, the operation can be severely affected, or at best be partially successful."
The COP's thoroughness was very evident to Stephen Harper, senior sustainment analyst, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate, TRADOC Capability Manager-Armor Brigade Combat Team, Fort Benning, Georgia, added that that this was his 25th NTC rotation in five years and he had not seen a more detailed COP.
"The COP included mission, intent, end state, assigned enablers, current operations, overall priorities, combat power, and issues/concerns. It was very apparent that your team is well rehearsed on standard operating procedures to update and maintain the COP when I visited their area multiple times during the rotation," Harper said.
"Your BLST team set the standard for an ABCT BLST COP, which serves to inform the brigade support battalion commander," he added.
The COP informs the enterprise of materiel and sustainment challenges, efforts being taken by the different entities within the enterprise to resolve these challenges, and the current operations of the units as they transitioned through the training days.
The COP's breakout depicted the current fully mission capable rates -- a graphical representation of the trends and summary of the maintenance posture as it relates to the current tactical operation specific to that training day.
Ultimately, the COP enables leaders to assess and understand the challenges of the ABCT as units transitioned through the various phases of decisive operations including movements to contact, defensive operations and deliberate attacks. Through the COP, leaders could assess the relationship between the ABCT's operation tempo and fully mission capable rates.
Additionally, the COP included a detailed long lead-time parts tracker. The BLST ensured updates to long lead-time requisitions, including the acquisition advice code, and required delivery date, which informed the enterprise of the urgency associated with a particular repair part.
It also provided historical information by date-time group of all actions being taken and by whom in efforts to resolve the issue.
The TACOM specialty team used this information to energize the enterprise at its level, which led to its responsiveness to the ABCT's materiel needs. In many cases, the BLST received parts within 48 hours from the initiation of the requisition, which included the time it took for the requisition to process through the Global Combat Support System-Army's financial system.
GCSS-Army's mission is to develop, field, and sustain an accountable consolidated enterprise resource planning solution.
The TTPs implemented by the BLST improved the materiel and sustainment readiness of the ABCT, increasing operational readiness and its combat power. For example, Soldiers were trained on how to repair a power generation unit while in the Brigade Support Area.
Asked how he assessed BLST support during the rotation, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joseph Blevins, 3rd Infantry Division senior ordnance logistics officer and division maintenance lead for the rotation, said, "The support from the 1-3 ABCT BLST has been nothing short of phenomenal. This team has clearly gone above and beyond their assigned duties to support a very arduous training schedule. They ensured the brigade was expertly supported and provided current insight and analysis to the command team daily. This greatly contributed to the success of the brigade's NTC rotation."
The BLST will continue to pursue and implement TTPs with regard to leveraging the enterprise in efforts to increase the ABCTs combat power, ensuring the warfighting readiness.
Additional info: 1-3 BLST supports the only current operational ABCT within 18th Airborne Corps. BLST personnel during time of Rotation 18-01 from Oct. 16 -- Nov. 3, 2017, consisted of 14 personnel from ASC and LCMC: Maj. Orna Bradley, BLST chief; Donald Sankey, BLST logistics management specialist; James Bunting, BLST supply logistics representative; Benson Pace, Aviation and Missile Command SLR; Silvano Labrador, AMCOM SLR; Jerry Jean, TACOM SLR; John Harvell, TACOM LAR; Michael Dundon, Gregory Janeczek, Valerie Mohoney, Dino Buchanan, Gregory Janeczek, Kevin Ivory, and Jeremy Brast -- all Communications Electronics Command LARs; and Clay Fell, Joint Munitions Command LAR.