By Kevin Fleming, 401st Army Field Support BrigadeSeptember 30, 2019
These logisticians along with their teams at the 401st Army Field Support Battalion-Qatar give U.S. Central Command strategic planners options to win by ensuring the readiness of sustainment capabilities at Army Prepositioned Stocks-5.
Feature one: Family motivates Soldier as he ensures readiness at APS-5
Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar -- Staff Sgt. James Cornejo, quality assurance, 401st Army Field Support Battalion-Qatar, has spent more than a year away from his family while ensuring the readiness of vehicles at Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 in Qatar.
Cornejo, who has nine years of service, said staying connected with his wife and two young children is essential, and helps him focus on the mission.
"We stay in contact over video chat and by sending correspondents back and forth," he said. "The kids send drawings and I pin them up on my work board, and I send them my drawings back. I'm also thinking of making an audiobook for them.
"It definitely helps to know I'm supported at home"
As a contracting officer representative (COR), Cornejo said he verifies and validates the work performed by contractors about 50 times per day. He said everyone in the APS-5 quality assurance office is committed to the mission.
"We make sure that if the warfighter gets inside a vehicle from here, they'll have nothing to worry about other than their mission," he said. "We make it fully mission capable"
APS-5 in Qatar primarily consists of transportation equipment and supply. Cornejo spends most of his time overseeing work done on large trucks, including Heavy Equipment Transports (HETs) and M978 Fuel Servicing Trucks.
"We have heavy transportation equipment positioned in [U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility] because when rapidly deploying forces move out, they need the ability not just to go fast, but to also remain mobile and agile on the battlefield," he said.
Feature two: Army Reserve Soldier fills key role at APS-5 in Qatar
Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar -- Capt. Ruth Hughes, support operations, 401st Army Field Support Battalion-Qatar, is an Army Reserve Soldier activated to support the sustainment mission of Army Prepositioned Stocks-5.
Her most recent project was to oversee facility improvements as work crews repaired roofing on several of the warehouses. Work crews had to move the APS-5 equipment to make room for improvements intended to protect the equipment from the elements.
"Even as efficient as our team is, there's so much stuff here it takes weeks to move and reset," said Hughes. "We're taking the opportunity to reassess the configuration of the warehouses to maximize issuing speed if necessary.
"And while we do, we also verify the equipment's readiness and correct any problems we find."
Hughes is also the lead contracting officer representative (COR). CORs are responsible for overseeing and verifying work in accordance with contract requirements.
While not activated, Hughes said she is a full-time mom who works hard at staying current on Army qualifications and standards.
"The Army Reserve has given me a career that allows me to be with my family most of the time," she said. "Being activated validates all the work I put in to stay current, and it helps financially -- but I definitely look forward to seeing my husband and kid again."
Hughes started her career as an enlisted Soldier with the Pennsylvania National Guard, where she later received her commission. She transitioned to the Army Reserve in 2013.
Feature three: Supply chief: APS-5 capabilities can 'keep forces mobile, comfortable, adaptable'
Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar -- Chief Warrant Officer 4 Vicente Rivera, supply systems technician, 401st Army Field Support Battalion-Qatar, is the lead Soldier for ensuring the supply readiness of Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 in Qatar.
"The equipment here is primarily supply and transportation, which are important for any force mobilization," said Rivera, who is also the supply accountable officer. "In large-scale combat operations, the kind of sustainment capabilities we oversee are what keep our forces mobile, comfortable and adaptable."
APS-5 in Qatar has tons of supply capabilities, including a large store of Force Provider systems. These are sets of basic equipment used to set up temporary camps in the field. For example, the kitchen equipment needed to serve hundreds of people is stored in one shipping container.
"They're like a city in a box," said Rivera. "We have all the basics, including administrative offices, laundry and billeting -- anything a unit would need to set up a temporary encampment."
Originally from Puerto Rico, Rivera has 22 years of military service, with most of that time spent leading supply sustainment operations.
"We make sure everything is tested before it leaves here to support operations," Rivera said. "Our supply team knows exactly what to do."