KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – When he first started working at Leghorn Army Depot for the U.S. Army in 1984, he and his fellow employees had less than 100 pieces of rolling stock they worked with, and the mechanical condition of the equipment was not their responsibility.
Now, 36 years later – at that same Army depot in Livorno, Italy – the Army Field Support Battalion-Africa deputy support operations officer says his team is responsible for over 3,000 pieces of equipment, to include their serviceability and operational condition.
“We’ve grown tremendously,” said Massimo Carpina, who started out as a care and preservation servicer and rose through the ranks to eventually become one of AFSBn-Africa’s senior leaders.
When Carpina was first starting out, the unit was only responsible for storing the equipment and preparing it for shipment. Now, with every piece of Army Prepositioned Stock equipment at Leghorn Army Depot, AFSBn-Africa personnel are required to conduct full technical inspections to ensure everything is within 10/20 standards.
“It could be a tank, it could be a truck, a trailer, a piece of electronics equipment or a weapons system,” said the Livorno native. “Regardless of the type of equipment, we have the skills and knowledge to conduct proper technical inspections and determine the serviceability of the equipment to be stored and prepared for shipment.”
“It could be a tank, it could be a truck, a trailer, a piece of electronics equipment or a weapons system. Regardless of the type of equipment, we have the skills and knowledge to conduct proper technical inspections and determine the serviceability of the equipment to be stored and prepared for shipment," said Massimo Carpina, the deputy support operations officer at Army Field Support Battalion-Africa.
The 3,000 plus items of equipment Carpina and his team are responsible for are part of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s APS-2, which is a key component to U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s power projection and readiness mission.
Carpina, with his wealth of experience, knows the importance of “people first” on the job site, across the Army and at home. He’s been married to the Camp Darby public affairs officer since 2003, and they have six children.
“My wife, Chiara, and I like to spend time with our children when we are not working,” Carpina said, “and we love to travel.”
One of his best family vacations, he said, was traveling to Grafenwoehr, Germany, and spending 10 days with a former Camp Darby military police first sergeant and his family.
“We went to Prague for a couple of days and drove through Switzerland and Austria, which were all beautiful. But just spending time with our friend – the first sergeant – and his family was so nice, so pleasant,” Carpina said.
People first. There is no other term to describe it. And it applies at work, as well, he said.
“If you have someone coming to work just to draw a paycheck, we’re not going to get the results that we are getting right now,” Carpina said. “You need to have people dedicated to what they are doing.”
The AFSBn-Africa workers are experts in their field, and they care. They know every piece of equipment – the hydraulics, electronics, armament systems, weapons systems, sight systems, night vision – everything, he said.
“And all of this equipment is installed on vehicles. If the vehicles don’t move, we are useless. If the vehicles don’t communicate properly, we are useless again,” Carpina said.
If one of our experts is not taking things seriously when he is determining if a particular piece of equipment is ready for the fight, that means someday a Soldier may be about to engage the enemy and it’s not working, he said.
“Can you imagine? That’s how serious it is,” said Carpina.
“Can you imagine? That’s how serious it is,” said Massimo Carpina, the deputy support operations officer at Army Field Support Battalion-Africa, 405th Army Field Support Brigade.
One of four battalions belonging to the 405th AFSB, AFSBn-Africa is charged with providing and coordinating receipt, transfer, storage and maintenance of APS to enable commanders to conduct unified action and a full range of military operations in support of USAREUR-AF and joint forces. The APS-2 site provides 630,000 square feet of humidity controlled capable space in 15 warehouses and another 587,000 square feet of outside storage.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, USAREUR-AF. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging the U.S. Army Materiel Command materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.