By Marc HarmonDecember 11, 2019
EYGELSHOVEN, Netherlands - Col. Grant L. Morris, commander, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, and Brig. Gen. Kees de Ritjke, Director Directorate, Personnel and Organization, Royal Netherlands Army, met here Dec. 6 to co-sign an updated agreement addressing the way ahead for the Army Prepositioned Stocks Eygelshoven site.
The agreement has been a work in progress since 2018 when the functionality of the site became more dynamic, requiring additional personnel and flexible capacity.
APS-2 Eygelshoven is tasked with providing and coordinating receipt, transfer, storage, and maintenance of APS, allowing commanders to conduct unified action and perform a full range of military operations in support of U.S. Army Europe.
According to Morris, the agreement was a culmination of months of close coordination between the U.S. and the Dutch Ministry of Defense, and is the baseline for the arrangement that will provide additional specificity into the workload expectations at the site.
"Our cooperation has allowed us to find the right equipment set, develop the right work force and skillsets at the APS-Eygelshoven site, and now is ready to produce the next set of APS equipment that will be moving into the site that started about three weeks ago and will continue for the next 12 months," said Morris.
Both Morris and de Ritjke credit the success of the agreement to the ongoing relationship and cooperation between the two nations.
"What we have seen in the last couple of years since the site has opened is the continued evolution of the cooperation between the Dutch Ministry of Defense at [United States Army in Europe], 21st Theater Sustainment Command, and the 405th," said Morris. "This cooperation has allowed us to continually refine what kind of equipment is the right equipment for Eygelshoven, what kind of workforce is the right kind of workforce for Eygelshoven, as well as what the Dutch need from us."
In his speech at the signing ceremony, de Ritjke echoed the same appreciation for collaboration.
"You cannot operate alone. This can only be achieved together," said de Ritjke. "Togetherness, in my opinion, is the most critical principle which should be the foundation of our capabilities."
This spirit of cooperation is built in to the agreement, as US military members and Dutch employees will work together to carry out the mission of receiving, maintaining, and issuing equipment, and contributing to forward exercise support.
"By inculcating the Dutch workforce into the Battalion staff, I believe that we are going to be able to have a more robust capability in the staff, we're going to have more cooperation between our two nations, and it's going to provide the ability to do better planning on the part of the battalion when we are looking at issuing equipment forward or when we're looking at bringing units in to do the equipment issue at the site," said Morris. "This will allow us to be much more forward thinking in how we do our military decision making process as well as execute operations."