The Army proves once again that the National Guard is a valued member of the Army team as the Michigan National Guard is the second guard unit and third unit overall to receive the new Army Combat Fitness Test equipment.
Just after Christmas, the Army reached out to the Michigan Army National Guard to find out if they wanted to receive the new ACFT early. They readily agreed.
Five days later, they started getting their first shipments at the United States Property and Fiscal Office in Lansing, Michigan.
Col. Joseph Cognitore, Director of Logistics for the Michigan National Guard, said, "It was a very short flash to bang for us to actually get the equipment."
The early arrival meant that the unit would get a chance to test its logistical capabilities with very little notice.
"We have been working on our distribution plan," said Cognitore, "we weren't expecting it this soon, but we were ready."
Sgt. 1st Class George Madison, fielding and training manager for the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's Materiel Fielding and Training Directorate was sent to Lansing to assist the Michigan National Guard with the fielding of the ACFT gear.
"I am very impressed with how quickly they were able to come together and inventory the equipment in this small space," said Madison, "They were able to move everything around and palletize and band together the equipment and get it ready for distribution."
Madison was also impressed on how they could move the equipment so quickly while maintaining a safe working environment.
The task of orchestrating the precise and safe inventory of more than 300 lanes of equipment in just over four hours was the responsibility of Capt. Rebecca Quackenbush, property management branch manager and her Storage and Distribution Warehouse Supervisor, Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Waldorf.
"We knew as long as we had a good new materiel Information brief in advance, understood how it was packaged and delivered, and how they were going to lay it out we wouldn't have any issues," said Quackenbush.
With the challenge of getting the equipment into the warehouse in Lansing over, efforts will now turn to getting it dispersed to National Guard units around the state.
"We plan to use the 246th Transportation Battalion to distribute most of the equipment to a majority of the units across the state," said Quackenbush, "Our team will deliver to the remaining units."
"The goal is to have everything delivered within 45 days," said Waldorf, "So were looking to have everything out of here by the end of February.
"Getting the equipment three months early is a good thing because it allows us to get the equipment in the Soldiers' hands and allow them to train and familiarize themselves with the test…" said Cognitore.
The Michigan Guard received enough equipment to train and test more than 8,000 Soldiers, and is the first unit with the Midwest region to receive the equipment.
Editor's note: See the "TACOM prepares to equip Army units for new fitness test" story at www.army.mil/article/226943, which explains how TACOM is working to deliver and field equipment in support of the ACFT to Soldiers around the globe.