In their own words: 1-12 Cav Soldiers reflect on recent APS-4 experience
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP CARROLL, South Korea - Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, recently conducted a validation live-fire exercise at the U.S. Army's Rodriguez Live Fire Complex utilizing equipment from the Army Prepositioned Stock-4 set at Camp Carroll, South Korea.

The "Chargers" are in the midst of a nine-month rotational deployment to South Korea from their home station, Fort Hood, Texas.

The Army Field Support Battalion - Northeast Asia oversees APS-4 operations in addition to a number of other missions. AFSBn-NEA provides readiness to U.S. Army Pacific through the mission command of APS-4 assets located in South Korea and Japan. The battalion receives, stores, maintains, accounts for, and, on-order, issues, APS-4 assets in order to provide strategic flexibility, support, and depth to U.S. Army forces.

Three Soldiers from 1-12 Cav, Capt. Brandon Sharp, battalion S-4, 2nd Lt. Dillon Wyant, tank platoon leader and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Rutkowski, platoon sergeant/tank commander, shared their observations.


Wyant: "Being able to have this many civilians to come down and actually work on the tanks was a great experience because normally we are used to only having one, which is hit-or-miss because they have so many tanks they have to work on and their focus is on the ones that really need it. Here, having a dedicated team for almost every single tank made things go really quick. I haven't had the opportunity to work with Army Materiel Command personnel before, so this was a good experience."


Rutkowski: "The equipment performed wonderfully. Everything was very on-point. We never really had any issues. Everything went just like it was supposed to."

Wyant: "The issue process was extremely smooth and very easy, honestly. The civilians here have been extremely helpful, they told us exactly what they wanted and exactly how the process was going to go. Any time we had a hiccup throughout the process they jumped in and helped us correct it. When we were out testing the actual equipment, they were out there with us in case we had any problems, which we didn't thankfully. The drawing process was extremely easy and things went smoothly overall."


Sharp: "I haven't had an experience quite like this having Army Materiel Command personnel on hand to assist us so closely. In the past I've worked with some individual representatives that were technicians for specific pieces of equipment, but not working directly with an AMC organization with this kind of experience."

Rutkowski: "Everything was well-planned and well-executed. We had briefs every day telling us what we were going to do, when we're going to do it - who, what, when, why - everything was covered, everything was very detailed and everything was very well-planned."


Sharp: "The equipment in APS-4 in nearly flawless. We had barely any maintenance issues at all. The equipment tested extremely well. It is validated to 'Fight Tonight' if need be. The civilian team here at AFSBn-NEA conduct all of the normal annual services, so the equipment is always in top shape. The equipment is validated, it is ready, and it can be rolled out at a moment's notice if necessary."

Wyant: "The equipment that we fell in on was all set to go. They had everything that the tank should have ready for us BII (basic issue items)-wise, everything it needs to actually go out and execute the mission was already laid out for us. Everything was pretty much in perfect condition and if we did find any deficiencies, the professionalism of the civilians here really showed through. We just let them know, 'Hey, these are the deficiencies,' and they corrected it on the spot."

Rutkowski: "The equipment performed wonderfully. Everything was very on-point. We never really had any issues. Everything went just like it was supposed to."


Sharp: "When we were firing, they (AFSBn-NEA personnel) were actually updating gun cards as we shot the main gun so they are really of top of things from the issue process to actual firing to the turn-in process."

Wyant: "When we did go out and shoot, it was actually pretty fun. It is great getting to fire main gun rounds manually and remotely. Again, overall, everything went really smooth. We tested all of the weapons systems and everything checked out with no problems at all."


Wyant: "The turn-in process took a little bit longer than the issue process because we had to clean the vehicles and the civilians had to come in to do their inspection process and they were very thorough, but they worked extremely fast getting everything they needed to do completed. So, when we got to the final turn-in process things went extremely smooth."


Rutkowski: "Things went really well. The execution piece had a really good flow to it. As far as training value, there a lot of things we can take away from this experience, especially knowing our jobs just a little bit better."

Sharp: "This was a good learning experience for me as a maneuver officer to better understand how the civilian team can partner up with green suiters and learn how they do things. The guys are pretty much all veterans, so they understand how we do business. It was very natural. We worked in lockstep the entire way. They are truly experts on this equipment. They know what widget is what during the inventory process so we were able to blow out of this place really fast. That's the goal, to be received, draw the equipment and move out quickly to whatever contingence we are called to do and they definitely facilitate that."

The AFSBn-NEA falls under the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade, headquartered at Camp Henry, South Korea. The 403rd AFSB is a subordinate unit 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.