FORT STEWART, Ga.– In order for the United States Army to remain an effective world-class fighting force, individual and unit equipment must be ready for combat. To ensure this, the Army is transitioning to the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, designed to align divisions across the Army with specific theaters of operations in order to support various missions.
However, after 20 years of fighting in the Middle East, many units have accumulated an excess of equipment that they can no longer use because it is outdated or broken.
“Units have a ton of stuff sitting in motor pools and storage facilities that are taking up space,” said Maj. Aaron Holker, support operations officer, 406th Army Field Support Battalion.
“The issue is the units need new equipment but, according to their MTOE (Military Table of Organization Equipment) they have it, so they can’t get new equipment unless they can turn it, get it repaired, or give it to another unit. Which in the past wasn’t always easy,” Holker added.
In an effort to unburden the units of the their excess equipment, and to assist with modernization efforts, the U.S. Army Sustainment Command has set up Modernization Displacement and Repair Sites at 13 division-level installations across the United States.
MDRS sites are located in consolidated areas on their installations. They are designed to help units get rid of excess equipment quickly and efficiently, as well as to increase readiness by assisting in lateral transfers of serviceable equipment from Army command to Army command, and repair or destroy unserviceable items.
On April 14 the ASC command team, Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell and Command Sgt. Maj. Marco Torres visited Fort Stewart’s MDRS to see firsthand how material readiness and quality of life efforts have modernized.
“I came here to see what you needed, because you have to succeed,” said Mitchell as he toured the facility.
Ensuring that the Soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division have the right equipment to accomplish their objectives is a no-fail mission for the MDRS team; and they have also been busy ensuring the units can turn in their old equipment with speed and ease.
“You are the Daytona 500; MDRS supports rearming and modernization,” said Mitchell. “This is what you guys are here for.”
The turn-in process for MDRS will vary based on what will happen to the equipment. For serviceable equipment that is being moved from ACOM to ACOM, or remaining in the ACOM, but moving to a different unit within the installation, the equipment must be fully serviceable, or capable of being rendered fully serviceable under Technical Manual 10/20 Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services.
Basically, it must be fully mission capable.
“If the item is not up to 10/20 standards, the unit can fix it or they can turn it into MDRS and pay the contractors there for the parts and labor,” said Holker. He went on to say that he thought many units would take advantage of the technicians and pay to get their items repaired as it frees up Soldier’s Soldiers’ time.
Items that are going to a depot or being turned in to the Defense Logistics Agency can be turned in as is.
Currently, the MDRS site is busy processing the transfer of 88 tanks from 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. The process, which started April 19, is expected to be completed by the end of June. MDRS expects to have all of the tanks processed and shipped to their new units by the end of July.
Over the next year, the Fort Stewart MDRS site will also help units divest of other equipment such as: Next Generation Automatic Test Systems, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, Paladins, small arms, and other equipment that is no longer needed by the unit.
“We have to make it easy for units to turn in their stuff,” said Mitchell. “The key to success is synchronization with the units. You have to make it hassle free, but still keep the standards up.”
The 14 MDRS are overseen by the resident Army field support battalion and Army logistics readiness centers. They are located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Riley, Kansas; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Irwin, California; and Fort Benning, Georgia.
The first MDRS opened at Fort Hood in November 2020.