By Ms. Rabia Coombs (AMC)December 13, 2018
ACCRA, Ghana - The West African Logistics Network became fully operational at Kotoka Airport, Ghana, Dec. 1.
Army Col. Grant L. Morris, commander 405th Army Field Support Brigade, recognized the accomplishments of everyone involved in achieving this milestone, during a small ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating WALN's first day of full operational capability.
"The Western African Logistics Network represents over a year's worth of coordination and cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Ghana, and shows the teamwork, and months of planning between U.S. Air Forces Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa, U.S. Army Africa, the Army Sustainment Command's 405th AFSB, and your team," Morris said.
The 405th Army Field Support Brigade, through its Logistics Civil Augmentation Program mission for Europe and Africa, provides logistics support to the WALN and four cooperative security locations on the continent of Africa.
LOGCAP, a U.S. Army program, leverages corporate assets to augment current and programmed sustainment force structure. It provides life support and sustainment services to deployed Soldiers as well as joint forces, non-military federal agencies and coalition forces in locations throughout the world. For WALN, the 405th AFSB provides traffic and cargo management.
The logistics network is a regional aerial distribution concept focusing on western and central Africa.
"WALN is a hub, here in West Africa, with spokes that allow us to receive passengers and cargo, load it on to smaller aircraft and move it on the continent of Africa," said John Dow, aerial station manager for the 405th AFSB performance contractor Fluor.
"It allows us to eliminate Ramstein as a hub for the African continent, cutting down transportation time and costs," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Robby Harrison, USAFE/USAFAF A4, contracting officer representative at Accra, emphasizing the concepts benefits.
The WALN concept to support the maturing of the African theater was first described October 2016, according to Morris. Based on the 2016 concept, LOGCAP received the requirement to develop the supporting logistics infrastructure in February of this year, Morris said.
"The Air Force had a requirement they felt the Army was well suited to execute," Morris said. "The Army Sustainment Command, through its Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, was able to go from requirement to full operational capability in less than 10 months."
The WALN logistically supports 12 Department of Defense contingency locations across the African continent. Four of those locations are U.S. Army cooperative security locations operated by USARAF and managed by the 405th AFSB, according to James Wilkerson, lead logistics management specialist for LOGCAP Africa.
"The 405th AFSB supports four CSLs - Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; Libreville, Gabon; and Entebbe, Uganda - on the African continent with LOGCAP providing 24/7 facilities maintenance and logistics support," Wilkerson said. "CSLs hold a small amount of prepositioned equipment for security cooperation activities and contingency access to reduce time and transportation requirements to deploy forces. They are designated to accommodate approximately 300 Soldiers for up to 30 days."
"With the establishment of the WALN and our CSLs, U.S. forces operating on the African continent will have a reliable logistics flow from the United States and the country is better prepared to react to any contingency on the continent," Morris said.