CAMP HENRY, Republic of Korea — The Army needs more than just the latest weaponry to compete on a global basis. The latest in technology plays a key role as well.
With that in mind, the Army Field Support Battalion – Northeast Asia, recently completed a major logistics automation system migration to increase readiness, improve logistics operations and to bolster the ability of Soldiers on the peninsula.
The Army Prepositioned Stock program exhibits the Army’s ability to rapidly project power and send a clear signal of U.S. commitment. Sets of equipment, such as an armored brigade combat team, are strategically prepositioned. This reduces deployment response times by allowing Soldiers to integrate to a theater and directly employ equipment to fight and win. These stocks are available to support combatant commanders’ missions, not only in contingencies, but also major exercises and humanitarian missions.
Part of Army Field Support Battalion-Northeast Asia’s mission is to maintain and account for Army Prepositioned Stocks-4 that is comprised of unit sets, operational projects and sustainment stocks. As the Army War Reserve Deployment System was designed to assist in the accountability, inventory, readiness, maintenance and transfer of Army Prepositioned Stock assets, maintaining operational readiness standards was a daily challenge.
In 2021, U.S. Army Sustainment Command directed the accelerated sunsetting of the legacy AWRDS system and transfer of all data to the new system, the Global Combat Support System - Army. GCSS-A establishes interface and integration to enable APS-4 to provide support at the right place and time to warfighting units, while also improving situational awareness for commanders and leaders with accurate and responsive information.
“GCSS-A implementation ensures APS-4 is ready for issue, enabling combat power and optimizing Warfighter readiness,” said Col. Lisa Rennard, brigade commander, 403rd Army Field Support Brigade.
In 2021, AFSBn-NEA started and completed the GCSS-A transition managed by supply, maintenance, and quality control experts. Encompassing equipment located in Korea and Japan, the battalion, working with multiple partners including the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade, Camp Henry, Korea; U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois; the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Camp Henry, South Korea; and the Combined Arms Support Command, Fort Lee, Virginia, transitioned from AWRDS to GCSS-A.
“The augmentation teams and partners contributed greatly to GCSS-A implementation,” said Capt. Samuel Boateng, operations officer, AFSBn-NEA (FWD). “The collective team provided oversight and technical support, while helping to meet validation requirements.”
GCSS-A migration was conducted using a phased approach to include preparation, pre-fielding, fielding, and capability support. With deliberate planning and control measures, APS-4 data from AWRDS to GCSS-A set conditions for APS-4 readiness. During daily synchronization meetings in the fielding phase, AFSBn-NEA was able to conduct reconciliation of data during the transfer process.
“The daily conditions checks across all stakeholders ensured mission success,” said Charles Song, deputy to the commander, AFSBn-NEA. “The battalion provided data for input, to include authorized stock list, lateral transfers, shop stock, maintenance, and work orders. AFSBn-NEA, conducted the data cleansing process of equipment across all equipment sites including Camp Carroll, Busan Storage Center, Camp Humphreys in South Korea, and Sagami General Depot and Yokohama North Dock, in Japan.”
The GCSS-A transition has sped up the equipment issue process, ensuring integration of unit sets, operational project stocks, and sustainment stocks to support commanders and units.
“The technical aspects of the transition proved to be a challenge with data cleansing, but with collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, migration of data, records and work orders were accomplished,” said Darren Ratcliff, Maintenance Division chief, Camp Carroll. “Moreover, AFSBn-NEA established supply support activities in GCSS-A, collaborating with subject matter experts and synchronizing with reach back support agents in the collective sustainment community to ensure requisite tasks were completed.”
With GCSS-A applied, and as the APS-4 accountable system of record, APS-4 draw time is considerably optimized during the property transfer process at the point of issue.
“The migration to GCSS-A makes the APS-4 draw process efficient and enhances the speed of issue,” said Lt. Col. Ed Woo, battalion commander, AFSBn-NEA.
One of the goals of the APS program in AFSBn-Northeast Asia is to enable rapid employment. The implementation of GCSS-A set the conditions for equipment issue to the Warfighter and increased readiness on the Peninsula significantly.
The Army Field Support Battalion-Northeast Asia, headquartered at Camp Carroll, South Korea, falls under the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade, located at Camp Henry, South Korea. The 403rd AFSB is a subordinate unit of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. ASC, the control hub for global Army logistics, falls under the U.S. Army Materiel Command located at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. AMC, a 4-star command, delivers logistics, sustainment and materiel readiness from the installation to the forward tactical edge to ensure globally dominant land force capabilities.