For United States Army Communications Electronics Command, having systems that are Fully Mission Capable is critically important for sustaining Army readiness and the ongoing mission of supporting the Warfighter. Soldiers are equipped with state of the art technology, but due to actively being engaged in deployment, Soldiers sometimes may lack the time to effectively maintain the equipment and fix problems when they occur, or simply might need additional assistance. To remedy this issue, Contract Field Service Representatives, Field Software Engineers, and Logistics Assistance Representatives are embedded within the military to assist Soldier's with technical support, troubleshooting mission commands, and network capabilities.
CFSRs, FSEs, and LARs provide Soldiers with a range of support including, but not limited to, design interface, spare maintenance, vehicle maintenance, on-site repairs, major exercises, and technical assistance.
"CFSRs are technical experts on the operations of the weapon system and typically provide Tier 2 Level and above for support," explained Joseph Fantanarosa, chief of the Field Support Division at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.
Within the Product Mission Tactical Network, CFSRs are employees of the vendors of the equipment purchased by the Project Manager. FSEs are Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance contractors that work directly for the PM. Lastly, LARs are government representatives and are divided into groups to provide assistance on Power & Generation, Long Hall Transmission, and Switch Internet Technology.
"Support representatives are the 'eyes and ears' for operations," said Raul Torres, lead Field Service Engineer for PdMN.
CFSRs and FSEs are geographically located on the major bases and have significant presence in Fort Bragg located in North Carolina. Fantanarosa further explained having technical expertise on site can help diagnose the root cause of a problem early on to avoid other underlying issues that can seriously halt the mission.
"They are sort of consultants helping the units take full advantage of the equipment supplied and at the same time, report back on issues found and how the Soldier is using the equipment and their challenges," said Torres.
Torres went on to say by having FSEs located on the major bases in the United States, it has dramatically saved travel cost every time the unit needs help.
"At the same time, the user understands and operates the equipment properly because they have the FSE to advise them," said Torres.
Support representatives not only assist the Warfighters' mission by providing Army operations support around the globe, but are always on call 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. In all, Fantanarosa and Torres agree that field support on both the service and engineering side continues to have positive impacts on improving readiness and mobility in the field.
"We are all here to support the Warfighter no matter where the paycheck comes from," Torres said. "One Fight, One Team."