CAMP CARROLL, South Korea -- A team from the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, headquartered at Kaiserslautern, Germany, visited their counterparts at the 403th AFSB recently to learn about Army Prepositioned Stocks-4 operations in Korea, and share insights on how they conduct their APS-2 operations in Europe.
The 403rd AFSB conducts operations in South Korea and Japan. The 405th footprint reaches throughout Europe and parts of the African continent.
The purpose of APS is to provide critical warfighting stocks strategically positioned afloat and ashore worldwide that contribute to an agile stance by optimizing expeditionary power projection, and to provide forward-positioned equipment and sustainment stocks to equip early-entry brigade combat teams and support formations in support of geographic combatant commanders.
"We really had two reasons for coming over here," said Col. Grant Morris, commander, 405th AFSB. "First of all, the Army Field Support Battalion -- Northeast Asia has been doing the APS mission for many, many years. They have good facilities, good processes and procedures, and we have only been doing it since around 2017. We are still kind of in the building stage of our capabilities to execute the APS mission for AMC.
"Secondly, we are in the process of developing a concept to reorganize how the non-direct support AFSBns operate, our readiness battalions and the APS battalions. ASC is about to start the planning process as a whole, but we wanted to get a little ahead of it because we think that Europe is the place where we can test out the concept best because we have the largest theater footprint and the most APS battalions of any brigade," he said. "We have a pretty well-organized operational plan."
While on the peninsula, the 405th delegation visited the 403rd AFSB headquarters at Camp Henry in Daegu, and Camp Carroll in Waegwan. Camp Carroll is home to both the AFSBn-NEA and APS-4.
"Having been here before, and having seen how well the APS mission is done in Korea, I wanted to bring two of my battalion commanders who conduct the APS mission in Europe, so they could be exposed to some best practices and lessons learned from AFSBn-NEA and APS-4," Morris said.
APS categories include:
Unit Sets - Prepositioned Unit Sets consist of organizational equipment (end items, secondary items, and supplies) stored in unit configurations to reduce force deployment response time. Materiel is prepositioned ashore and afloat to meet the Army's strategic requirements.
Operational Projects Stocks - Operational Project Stocks consist of equipment and supplies required above normal unit authorizations. They are tailored for key strategic capabilities essential to support Army operations, plans, and contingencies.
Army War Reserve Sustainment - Army War Reserve Sustainment stocks consist of major end items intended to replace battle losses and secondary items intended to replace supplies consumed during contingency operations. They are prepositioned in or near a theater of operations to last until wartime rates of resupply from the continental United States are established.
War Reserve Stocks for Allies - War Reserve Stocks for Allies is an Office of the Secretary of Defense-directed program ensuring U.S. preparedness to assist designated allies in case of war. The U.S. owns and finances the assets and prepositions them in the appropriate theater. At time of need, the stocks are transferred to the support allied forces under the Foreign Assistance Act.
Activity Sets - Activity Sets consist of unit equipment prepositioned specifically to equip Army forces conducting training exercises outside the continental United States. They are prepositioned at or near the intended training locations. The equipment is managed and cared for in APS when it is not issued to training units. They also enable support theater security cooperation and multi-national exercises (Regionally Aligned Forces/European Response Force rotations).
"APS sites are all made up of slightly different unit sets which are pretty much based on whatever that operational plan requires, so things will always be just a little bit different," said Lt. Col. John Ruths, commander, AFSBn-NEA. "Even though there are differences from place to place, we try to keep things generally the same. That's why getting together like this is so important. This has been a great opportunity for my team to learn some best practices from the 405th folks, and I'm sure we were able to provide them with some ideas they can implement in Europe."
The 403rd and 405th AFSBs are subordinate units of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. ASC, the control hub for global Army logistics, falls under the U.S. Army Materiel Command headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. AMC, a four-star command, delivers logistics, sustainment and materiel readiness from the installation to the forward tactical edge to ensure globally dominant land force capabilities.