Name: James Wood
Job title: Logistics Assistance Representative, Soldier Chemical-Biological
Command: U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command
Assigned: Army Field Support Battalion-Germany, 405th Army Field Support Brigade
Location: Rose Barracks, Vilseck
Experience: SCB LAR for more than 13 years
Active duty service: 22 years, Army Sergeant First Class Cavalry Squadron motor sergeant
Hometown: Lake Hamilton, Florida
Q: Can you explain what your duties are as an SCB LAR with the 405th AFSB?
A: I support the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, 1-91st Cavalry Regiment, 4-319th Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Military Police Brigade and other units with all their weapons systems in the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas. When one of these units has a problem with one of their weapons, I’ll get with their small arms repairers and help them assess the issue and determine what the problem may be. Recently one of the units had a serious problem with two of their M107 .50 caliber long range sniper rifles. Both of them had damage to the inside of the barrel so I helped them assess the damage, verify the operational condition and then walked them through the process of turning those weapons into the system and requesting new ones.
Q: Do SCB LARs specialize in certain Army weapons systems and equipment pieces?
A: As an SCB LAR, we are subject matter experts on a wide variety of weapons systems. We provide technical on-site maintenance assistance, supply readiness and training to Soldiers on crew served weapons systems such as the M2A1 .50 caliber machine gun, Mk 19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, M240 7.62 mm machinegun, and the M3-E1 84 mm multi-role anti-armor anti-personnel weapons system. We also provide assistance with their personal weapons like the M4A1 carbine and the M17 pistol as well as a wide variety of howitzers and artillery. In addition, we assist units with their chemical and biological equipment, such as the M26 chemical decontamination system and other detection and decon pieces of equipment.
Q: Can you give me an example of how a SCB LAR affects Army modernization efforts?
A: We do assist with the Army’s modernization program, especially with the modification of weapons systems and the fielding of new systems. Recently, TACOM added a new butt stock to the M240L machine gun, and SCB LARs assisted with getting the modification work orders completed and making it all happen. And whenever TACOM begins fielding new equipment, as a LAR we will assist to make that happen. Once the equipment is issued to the unit and the fielding team leaves, as a LAR we’re now responsible with assisting the unit with any issues they may have.
Q: What motivates you and why do you do it?
A: I really enjoy taking care of Soldiers. To me it’s very important that the Soldiers are able to maintain fully-functioning weapons systems ready for action 24/7. I don’t know if you have ever heard that Army phrase “shoot, move and communicate”? Well, shoot’s the very first one, and there’s a reason for that.
Logistics Assistance Representative: LARs are Army civilians serving in motor pools, hangars, maintenance shops, and offices around the world. Highly trained, they bring more than two dozen specialty skills to Army equipment readiness requirements. LARs are the direct conduit between Active, National Guard and Reserve units and TACOM commodity managers and program managers. LARs assist unit maintenance personnel to identify complex equipment faults or failures, and they provide over-the-shoulder training on how to troubleshoot and diagnose these faults or failures. Annually, LARs execute thousands of technical assistance actions while providing real-time feedback and technical guidance to unit commanders and ASC leadership on actions to resolve systemic issues impacting equipment readiness.
Tank-automotive and Armaments Command: TACOM is a major subordinate command of U.S. Army Materiel Command. TACOM manages the Army's ground equipment supply chain, which constitutes about 60 percent of the Army's total equipment. The TACOM workforce includes highly skilled and uniquely qualified professionals, from engineers and industrial artisans to senior logisticians and business analysts. A largely civilian workforce, TACOM is critical to building Army readiness around the world. If a Soldier drives it, shoots it, wears it or eats it – TACOM sustains it.
405th Army Field Support Brigade: The 405th AFSB is assigned to ASC 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 AMC’s 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.