CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics visited the 401st Army Field Support Brigade here, April 20.

Ellen M. Lord, under secretary of Defense (AT&L), toured an Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 warehouse and spoke with 401st AFSB leadership about how the brigade increases readiness throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

"I'm very impressed with everything I've seen here today," Lord said. "I look at everything in the context of the national defense strategy that really focuses on three lines of effort."

The key three lines of effort are lethality, building partnerships and alliances, and reform, said Lord.

"What I'm seeing here today is reform in terms of being smart about readiness and being great stewards of tax-payer dollars," she said. "We're making sure that we're maximizing the efforts of our men and women in uniform to give us readiness not only to fight as the United States but also with our coalition partners here."

During the tour, Lord received briefings from Army Field Support Battalion-Kuwait maintenance experts about different vehicle platforms, including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and M1A2 Abrams Tanks.

Lord also spoke with senior leaders about how APS-5 equipment readiness is increasing as it is transitioned from Care of Supplies in Storage (COSIS) to combat configured, and how modernization of the APS program may increase future readiness.

"I think the APS program gives us an opportunity to modernize our prepositioned systems as we go through routine maintenance," Lord said. "So, if we're being smart about it, we will upgrade capability as we're taking care of regular repairs and maintenance. That's an opportunity for future readiness."

APS-5 equipment is upgraded in accordance with materiel work orders (MWO). Most MWOs are executed during routine maintenance cycles. Some MWOs are classified as urgent, which results in upgrading equipment immediately, regardless of the maintenance cycle.

"Our vehicles here have to be equipped to handle threats that are specific to this theater," said Don Mallette, logistics management specialist, AFSBn-Kuwait. "It takes a certain amount of armor, a certain type of communication technology, and level of weaponry that gives our troops a decisive edge against our enemies."

Combat configured vehicles receive more frequent routine maintenance than vehicles that are stored under the COSIS program, which means combat configured vehicles have more frequent opportunities to receive upgrades.

"With the transition from COSIS to combat configured, we're increasing immediate readiness," Mallette said. "By being responsive to materiel work orders and upgrading Soldier technologies on these platforms when rotating them through their maintenance cycles, we're looking forward to increase future readiness as well."

The modernization of APS-5 platforms is essential for the program's overall readiness, and the AFSBn-Kuwait works very hard to maximize every aspect of materiel readiness across every item they touch, said Mallete.

"Over time, the threats evolve and change. So our equipment has to keep up with that, or ideally, stay ahead of that," Mallette said. "We want to make sure the unit that draws equipment from APS-5 is getting equipment that can handle the area of operation and get those Soldiers home to their families safely."