CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti – One way U.S. Army Sustainment Command provides contractual and logistical support to U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, the service components and various task forces assigned to the continent of Africa is through the utilization of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Army Field Support Battalion-Africa. The battalion, home stationed at Leghorn Army Depot in Italy, manages active services and property in Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda, Niger and other locations in Western Africa.
Base Life Support
The 405th AFSB’s AFSBn-Africa provides one Logistics Civil Augmentation Program professional and one Strategic Planner to support Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s base operations support to Navy personnel and other elements in Africa. Over the last year, LOGCAP has provided services to five contingency locations and cooperative security locations on the Africa continent. As AFRICOM’s implementation plan continues to transform, LOGCAP continues to provide vital services to multiple contingency locations and CSLs. At any giving site, LOGCAP provides more than 20 services and is prepared to rapidly adjust its capabilities and frequency of support within a moment’s notice.
At one of the contingency locations, LOGCAP provided food service to over 800 service members as well as maintenance and repairs on over 50 facilities, water operations, and fuel service for ground and air assets. As operations transformed, LOGCAP shifted and expanded its support and now provides container management, manages food and water supplies, and it provides power to the facilities at these CSLs.
In addition to LOGCAP providing service-based contract support, it also supports construction projects. At two contingency locations, LOGCAP contractors executed two projects exceeding $500,000 each. In addition, contractors account for, manage and maintain millions of dollars of government property at these forward sites. The contractors also augment and provide advice on requirements and tactical needs in order to maintain a high level of maintenance readiness, and U.S. government elements provide security and transportation allowing the contractors to focus on the execution of their services.
Through the Logistics Support Team Africa, AFSBn-Africa provides theater equipment support to various task forces and service components assigned to multiple missions throughout Africa. The performance of these duties is in support of U.S. Southern European Task Force, Africa. Army Maj. Andrew Reddy leads the LST Africa staff, filling all equipment needs through Army Proposition Stocks. This small team, comprised almost entirely of Army civilians, has active sub-hand receipt holders in East Africa, and they currently manage sub-hand receipts issued to over a dozen organizations from three service components.
As an example, LST Africa provides multiple Mobile Integrated Refrigeration Container Systems through CJTF-HOA to support mortuary affairs operations at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, with a reach capability across all of East Africa. One MIRCS can receive and store up to 16 human remains.
Communications, Electronics Maintenance Support
As a theater support asset, AFSBn-Africa also provides services and support to requiring and requesting activities. U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command is the owner of the contract support while AFSBn-Africa provides administrative and logistical coordination with the command. These capabilities include communications and electronics maintenance and repair support. Contractors assigned to CECOM’s Regional Support Center provide maintenance and repair, installation, training and logistics support to multiple warfighter force protection systems, such as the Base Expeditionary Targeting and Surveillance Systems-Combined, the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment system and more. While the contractors are not assigned to the 405th AFSB, AFSBn-Africa provides the logistical needs and coordination for these contractors working in the region.
Within the active task order, RSC contractors provide maintenance support, transportation management, field services and equipment safeguarding. These assets currently provide generator maintenance services to support force protection and base life support. These highly trained and skilled contractors provide skill level 10 to 30 support to the area of responsibility and can, if required, rebuild generator engines without shipping the generators back to Italy, which decreases response times and assessments, reduces transportation hauls, and improves operational readiness.
Having an AFSBn-Africa LOGCAP Soldier deployed and embedded into the CJTF-HOA staff has significantly increased communications and coordination between customers and the CJTF-HOA and CECOM operations and planning cells. The CECOM RSC works directly with the requiring activities to write scopes of work, while the AFSBn-Africa LOGCAP Soldier provides and facilitates in person discussions and coordination with the supported commands on ground. Technology support and communication repair planning are good examples of the ongoing support the 405th AFSB’s AFSBn-Africa provides to deployed forces on the continent of Africa.
(Editor’s note: Cameron Porter, the public affairs officer for the 405th AFSB, contributed to this article.)