MANNHEIM, Germany – If he’s not riding his Harley Davidson across Europe with his wife, you’ll find him at Coleman Barracks supervising one of the largest Army Prepositioned Stock sites in the world.
Thomas Esposito is the director of Coleman worksite, Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim, 405th Army Field Support Brigade. As the director, Esposito supervises about 15 government civilian employees assigned to AFSBn-Mannheim and oversees the operations and mission of an additional 800 contractors.
Their job? – the storage, security, maintenance and issue of more than 500 armored vehicles and associated equipment pieces – enough to fully outfit an entire Armored Brigade Combat Team when called upon.
The battalion’s primary mission is the storage and maintenance of one ABCT’s worth of vehicles and equipment, said Esposito, a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 who served on active duty for 23 years. That mission includes M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, staff tracked vehicles, armored personnel carriers and more.
“Our business is maintenance and storage and accountability … ready to issue to an active duty unit in the event of a requirement here in theater,” said Esposito, who is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., but has served with the Army around the world for the past 39 years.
Esposito’s logistics maintenance experience goes all the way back to when he joined the Army as a private in 1982 and was assigned as a tracked vehicle mechanic in Crailsheim, Germany. During his career he worked with the heavy mechanized infantry, artillery and the famed 82nd Airborne Division as well as the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He has deployed twice to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.
Responsible for the full range of maintenance and logistics work on every piece of Army equipment imaginable, Esposito has done it all.
“From early on, I’ve worked on M151 Jeeps, M60 tanks and M561 Gama Goats – all the way through the full modernization of the Humvee – from the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier to the new, at the time, Bradley fighting vehicle that’s obviously been in the inventory for about 30 years, to the Stryker,” said Esposito, who served as a battalion maintenance officer at Coleman Barracks 30 years ago.
“From the M60 tank to the M1 tank, from the old field artillery pieces to the new Paladins – I’ve worked on the full range of tracked and wheeled vehicles, the full spectrum of Army combat systems,” he said.
“From the M60 tank to the M1 tank, from the old field artillery pieces to the new Paladins – I’ve worked on the full range of tracked and wheeled vehicles, the full spectrum of Army combat systems,” said Thomas Esposito, the director of the Army Prepositioned Stock-2 site at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim.
While the vast majority of his civilian career, about 16 years, has been with the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command as a logistician and maintenance manager, he’s not new to the Army Prepositioned Stock program either. Prior to his position at the APS-2 site in Mannheim, Esposito served as the director of maintenance at the APS-2 site at Leghorn Army Depot, Italy, assigned to the 405th AFSB’s Army Field Support Battalion-Africa.
It’s not all work and no play for this senior maintainer logistician leader, either. He said he and his wife, Cathy, enjoy traveling, music and riding their motorcycles.
“My wife and I are attached at the hip,” Esposito said. “We enjoy a lot of the same things. We both ride Harleys. Since we’ve been here we’ve done a five-country ride. We’ve rode our motorcycles in Italy and Czech Republic. We’ve been to France twice, Belgium, Netherlands and more. And we both like motorsports. We like building pro touring cars and muscle cars – so we both enjoy a lot of the same things.”
SOLDIER FOR LIFE
But still, Esposito said a huge part of his heart belongs to the Army and Soldiers.
“It’s a huge honor and source of pride for me,” Esposito said. “I take my job very seriously. I come to work every day. I work with Soldiers and for Soldiers. And I work for the United States Army. When I retire, my whole adult life will have been spent serving in the Unites States Army.”