DÜLMEN, Germany – October 21 marks exactly one year since Army Field Support Battalion-Germany assumed mission command of the Dülmen Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite at Tower Barracks from Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim.
On this one-year anniversary and as AFSBn-Mannheim soon transitions to AFSBn-Poland and takes over the new APS-2 site under construction at Powidz, Poland – AFSBn-Germany has garnered numerous lessons learned. Amassing and analyzing these lessons learned now, AFSBn-Germany plans to apply them when it next assumes mission command of the Coleman APS-2 worksite in Mannheim, Germany in early 2024.
Gary Marquez is the deputy to the commander at AFSBn-Germany. He’s been at the battalion for five years and remembers in 2018 when AFSBn-Germany was earmarked to eventually pick up and move to Poland.
But a couple years later, after the 405th Army Field Support Brigade changed leadership, it was decided that AFSBn-Germany would assume mission command of the Dülmen and Coleman APS-2 worksites and retain the theater readiness mission supported by U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Logistics Assistance Program. And inversely, AFSBn-Mannheim would re-designate to AFSBn-Poland and move to Powidz.
“We started backward planning in the summer of 2020 for the handoff of the Dülmen APS-2 worksite in the fall of 2021,” Marquez said. “We immediately started mapping out what we needed to do for this handoff. We took a look at people, of course, and at facilities, resources, and equipment.”
The AFSBn-Germany’s personnel office, budget office and its support operations directorate all began working furiously to help make the transition as smooth as possible, Marquez said. In addition, in August of 2021 both battalion command teams – AFSBn-Germany and AFSBn-Mannheim – conducted a workforce town hall with personnel and leaders at the Dülmen APS-2 worksite to help them better understand the plan and how it would affect current and future operations. The town hall also served as a venue for Dülmen’s workforce to voice their concerns and ask questions.
“From that point, we started taking a look at a fever pitch of hiring actions for the Dülmen APS-2 worksite,” said Marquez. “To date, 10 hiring actions at Dülmen are complete with an additional 19 to go.”
A lot of those were local national positions, but the battalion also hired a new site director in December and a plans and operations chief in January. That person has now transitioned over to the director of maintenance position, and the battalion has a new quality assurance chief, as well.
“We’re filling the seats,” said Marquez. “We’re trying to put the right people in the right seats on the right bus.”
Troy Furlow is one of the Army civilians they hired. He’s been the site director at the Dülmen APS-2 worksite for almost a year now, and before that he was an active duty Soldier and Army captain assigned to Dülmen since November 2018.
“The Dülmen that I showed up to in 2018 and its (personnel) authorizations then are way different than what we are hiring against now – that is, the differences in the amount of local nationals we’re hiring and the differences in government personnel, and how the different sections are set up,” Furlow said.
Much emphasis has been placed on the Dülmen APS-2 worksite by AFSBn-Germany over the past year. The battalion has worked to refine the APS-2 site’s budget and has assisted the worksite with purchasing new laptops, cell phones and other equipment. The battalion has streamlined and helped with the site’s personnel and human resource management requirements. The AFSBn-Germany security manager has visited the Dülmen site numerous times, working hand-in-hand with physical security, base security and contract security. The operations section at AFSBn-Germany has been thoroughly tracking all training requirements at Dülmen and diligently managing daily task orders. The battalion recently hired a contract management officer, who is scheduled to be onboard in December and will be the go to person for all contract oversight.
“Just to put it in context, we went from a battalion authorization of 12 DACs (Army civilians) and five military to 46 DACs and local nationals, plus 11 military,” Marquez said.
Next, Battalion Germany is scheduled to take command and control of the Coleman APS-2 worksite in January of 2024, which will further add four military plus 27 Army civilians and local nationals. Leading up to that, the battalion plans to use all the lessons learned it garnered during the Dülmen transition and over the past year to prepare for that mission.
“That’s the icing on the cake,” Marquez said. “We’ve gone through this for a year with Dülmen. We know what information we need from AFSBn-Mannheim before we take over Coleman worksite. This transition for Coleman to Battalion Germany should be even smoother than it was for Dülmen.”
Battalion Germany is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB and is headquartered at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany. In addition to its APS-2 mission at Dülmen and soon to be mission at Coleman, AFSBn-Germany is responsible for providing and coordinating tactical and operational sustainment to ensure theater readiness and enable commanders to conduct a full range of military operations in direct support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, using U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Logistics Assistance Program.
The 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program provides turn-key power projection packages – ready to deploy at a moment’s notice – while helping to reduce the amount of equipment needed from the deploying forces’ home stations. 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 U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website and the official Facebook site.