LEGHORN ARMY DEPOT, Italy – The 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Africa battalion maintains a robust stock of some of the most modernized and lethal vehicles and equipment pieces in the Army’s inventory.
Recently, Army Field Support Battalion-Africa was called upon to shift over 1,300 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles from its Army Prepositioned Stock-2 site at Leghorn Army Depot to other locations for other missions.
The battalion immediately went to work to get the M-ATVs to their new destinations.
Working with the 839th Transportation Battalion, installation customs office, Italian base commander, Carabinieri, multiple port activity agencies, and installation security, AFSBn-Africa prepped, prepared and delivered the M-ATVs to be loaded unto cargo vessels at the Port of Livorno in Italy.
“We started shipping M-ATVs in April for this particular mission. The Ocean Giant (cargo vessel) was the second shipment on May 19 carrying over 240 M-ATVs, and we are doing a third shipment with the USNS Bob Hope starting in a couple of days,” said Lt. Col. Miguel Floresrivera, the commander of AFSBn-Africa.
The Bob Hope is a U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command vehicle cargo ship that is stopping in Livorno on its way from Durrës, Albania, carrying equipment used by U.S. forces during DEFENDER-Europe 21, said Jeffrey Jurgensen, the public affairs officer for the 598th Transportation Brigade.
It will be stopping in Livorno to pick up another couple hundred M-ATVs, said Floresrivera.
“We haven’t had U.S. military vessels here in Livorno for a long time so we are very excited about the arrival of the USNS Bob Hope,” said Floresrivera.
Recently, the Army made the decision to divest its fleet of MIII7 Armored Security Vehicles used by Army Military Police units, said Floresrivera. The Army is replacing these ASVs with M-ATVs, and that triggered this mission.
Many of these new, highly advanced M-ATVs will be issued to Reserve and National Guard MP units throughout the United States. Some will be redistributed to other APS sites, and some will be sent to other locations and MP units, such as the 18th Military Police Brigade in Germany.
Floresrivera said preparing and moving over a thousand vehicles in a short time span takes a lot of coordination and a lot of work, but according to him he’s got the right workforce for the job.
“I can tell you that my local national workforce is the most experienced in Europe because they are not contractors and they don’t rotate,” said Floresrivera. “The average age of my local national workforce is about 53 years old, and average time in the battalion is 23 years.”
“They love their jobs,” Floresrivera said. “When I talk to them, they are always very thankful for the opportunities they have working with the U.S. – with our Army and our government.”
Floresrivera said his workforce consists of about 10 Soldiers and about a dozen Army civilian employees, but the vast majority – over 200 – are Italian local national employees.
“They’re not contractors like the other APS-2 sites,” Floresrivera said. “We have examples – such as a grandpa working for us, and then his son comes onboard. The grandpa retires and now the grandson or granddaughter is here – three generations.”
“It’s been like this since the 1950s when we started here at Leghorn Army Depot. This is an institution, and all the locals know the depot and the battalion here in Livorno,” he said.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. 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.