Pine Bluff Arsenal's Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits and Outfits or DRSKO mission has continued to expand in recent years.Since March 2015, the Arsenal has been producing and fielding DRSKO, working first on Civil Support Team units, which are fielded to National Guard and Reserve Units. Since that time, the production teams have also done units for the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. Now, the missions is expanding to include logistics support.
According to information from Jordan Freer, project manager with the Arsenal's Directorate of Business Operations, in 2018 a team briefed the Joint Project Manager for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Contamination Avoidance on a proposal to include support for fielded DRSKO units.The proposal was developed by a combined effort by Arsenal support staff including team members from Chemical and Biological Defense Operations, Engineering and Technology, Public Works, Material Management and Business Operations.
"The support is for maintenance on all fielded Army, National Guard and Reserve DRSKO units worldwide," said Stephen Lee with the Arsenal's Directorate of Chemical and Biological Defense Operations. "Toward the middle of this fiscal year, we should pick up all the Army Explosive Ordnance Detachment and Air Force DRSKO units."
Lee, who was chosen to lead this effort due to his previous experience working with the Chemical Biological Repair Team or CBERT mission, said the current team he has put together has seven members."Ed Conley, DRSKO System Manager with JPM NBC CA, really appreciated my expertise," said Lee. "All of the team members will receive technician level training, will have to be certified on the Self-Contained Breath Apparatus or SCBA and other equipment by the original equipment manufacturer, and will have to do in-house trainings with other equipment manufacturers as needed. This is above operator level training."
Other team members will include a production controller, a production analyst and others from supporting directorates for this expanded mission.
"The seven field service representatives supporting this mission will travel to unit locations, both here in the United States and overseas, and provide field support to the systems," according to the information from Freer. "The representatives will be required to travel for days and sometimes weeks at a time, and on very short notice. This support will include scheduled maintenance as well as unscheduled call-outs if there are any issues with the equipment."DRSKO is a system of sensors, protective suits, boots, etc., that provides a capability to Soldiers, helping them detect and isolate any chemical hazard in the field. Each branch of service has their own DRSKO units, and with these come different requirements.Due to the rapid request for implementation, planning and execution for this new DRSKO capability, Lee and his team have been key to the Arsenal standing up this effort. "We are becoming more of a one-stop shop for DRSKO," said Lee. "This is lifecycle management -- from the beginning to the end."DRSKO logistical support responsibilities and travel began in March.