FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Fort Campbell is leading the way on an Armywide initiative to speed up deployment time with a new Individual Chemical Equipment facility, or IceFAC, a first-of-its-kind ware-house for storing chemical protective gear.
Army Field Support Battalion-Campbell hosted a ribbon cutting and tour for the 10,000-square-foot building Feb. 5 and plans to have it fully operational by Feb. 26.
The facility will house the 101st Airborne Division’s full supply of chemical protective equipment, including protective clothing, hydration systems and decontamination equipment. Those items are currently stored in multiple facilities across the installation away from AFSBn-Campbell’s footprint.
“This is a movement across the Army to consolidate these kinds of things,” said Lt. Col. Sean “Seamus” R. Wilson, commander of AFSBn-Campbell. “Most of the other installations right now are in the same situation we were, in that they’re in several disparate locations across the installation.”
Steve Pray, chief of Installation Supply Division, AFSBn-Campbell, said the warehouse is located near the Central Issue Facility and the Installation Supply Division’s other missions, which translates to a wide-ranging increase in readiness for rapid deployment.
“Centralizing this operation within the same three-block footprint of the other Installation Supply Division missions offers a ‘one-stop-shopping’ experience to our Soldiers that bolsters our commitment to providing world-class logistical support in all supply related areas,” Pray said.
Fort Campbell’s Directorate of Public Works designed the project and oversaw its construction, which began June 1, 2020. Brad Curvin, construction control inspector, DPW, served as the contracting officer’s representative.
“It feels great just knowing I had a part in it, considering what it’s going to be and how it’s going to benefit the Soldiers,” Curvin said.
U.S. Army Sustainment Command, or ASC, fully funded the project after it was identified as a need for the installation. Installation Management Command typically pays for infrastructure on post, but neither they nor U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Campbell had enough funding available, Wilson said.
ASC’s investment saved the installation approximately $1.2 million, and the facility is expected to yield further savings in recurring energy costs.
“Everything in it is energy efficient, from the LED lighting to the big circle of fans we have in there,” said Avery Orange Sr., management analyst specialist, facility manager, environmental officer and energy conservation officer for AFSBn-Campbell. “We were in an old – I want to say 1967 – facility out on 53rd, which had all of the old incandescent bulbs, leaky roofs where we were losing energy in heat, and actually, an inefficient office.”
Between deployments, the facility also will increase the equipment’s lifespan through climate control technology. The division’s protective clothing is both light and temperature sensitive, which means instances of extreme heat and cold can run through its shelf life.
“It provides a safe work environment for my employees as well,” Wilson said. “The other ones they were working out of, in the summer it gets really hot and in the winter it gets really cold, so now they have a good, safe place to work.”
Although the previous facilities were not ideal for storing individual chemical equipment, Fort Campbell is working to properly repurpose them. Some will eventually allow AFSBn-Campbell to refurbish and ship out used equipment, while others are being returned to the garrison, Wilson said.
In the meantime, he expects to see the Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and all of Fort Campbell’s tenant units benefit from the new facility.
“We’re all consolidated to one area now, so when a unit is notified of a rapid deployment they just have to come to one area and they can get all the resources they need to go out the door,” Wilson said. “They can send three trucks to one place and get all their stuff.”