DÜLMEN, Germany – It’s not uncommon to be stationed at a single duty location, either in the U.S. or overseas, for four years or more while serving in the Army. However, not many people can say they did so as an Army officer and as an Army civilian employee, consecutively. Yet, this is exactly what Troy Furlow has done.
The former commissioned officer arrived at Dülmen Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite at Tower Barracks in November of 2018 as a captain. He had already served two tours in Korea and just completed the U.S. Army Captains Career Course. But what he did next was most unusual.
After serving seven years as an active duty Army officer, Furlow ended his service while stationed in Germany and started applying for civilian positions with the U.S. government while living with his German girlfriend not far from the gates of Dülmen. Not surprisingly, Furlow was ecstatic when we was offered an Army civilian position with the 405th Army Field Support Brigade but even more excited knowing he’d been selected as the new director for the Dülmen APS-2 worksite.
Furlow, who is assigned to the 405th AFSB’s Army Field Support Battalion-Germany, said when he first arrived at Dülmen in 2018 the mission was very different than what it is now, and the site’s personnel authorizations were different, too.
“At that time I was slotted as the maintenance operations officer under the director of maintenance,” Furlow said. “I felt like I stumbled upon the best kept secret in the Army, honestly. I fell in love with the area. I love Münster. I built a community here. I have friends here. And my girlfriend lives here.”
“I was working with DA civilians and contractors in an in-depth capacity for the first time in my career. At that time, I was the only Soldier at Dülmen and the first active duty Soldier. My predecessors were all (Reserve Soldiers on Active Duty for Operational Support orders),” said the 31-year-old APS-2 site director.
Originally from Middletown, New Jersey, Furlow said Dülmen became a U.S. Army installation in 2016. Prior to this it was occupied by British forces. But Dülmen wasn’t given its first APS-2 issue mission until the Fall of 2019, Furlow said. During the three years leading up to that mission, Dülmen was only responsible for maintaining a well-run care of supplies in storage, or COSIS, program.
The Dülmen APS-2 team immediately went into action, said Furlow, issuing a complete M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System battalion equipment set to 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade, as part of the Army’s deterrence package program.
“That was interesting because 1/6 FA was a new unit in theater so they didn’t have any equipment. They just had personnel. We were responsible for permanently issuing them an entire MLRS battalion equipment set,” said Furlow.
“We gained a lot of lessons learned from that first APS-2 issue, which we incorporated into our second iteration of deterrence package issue in the late summer of 2020,” he said.
It was another MLRS set issued to another field artillery battalion, Furlow said. This time it was the 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st FA Bde.
“That was one of the most enjoyable missions in my career,” said Furlow, adding that Dülmen now conducts multiple APS-2 issue missions in support of DEFENDER-Europe exercises and current operations in Europe following Russia’s unwarranted invasion of Ukraine.
“The Army’s been very good to me,” said the Rutgers University Reserve Officers' Training Corps graduate. “The Army’s ROTC program paid for my college, coming at a critical point in my life and helping develop me into the leader I needed to be. Without that first step I know there’s no way I would ever be living in this wonderful area of Europe doing a job that I find very fulfilling.”
“Bottom line, the Army helped make me who I am today,” Furlow said.
Someone else helped make Furlow who he is today, he said. He and his girlfriend, Kathi Striedelmeyer, will celebrate their fourth anniversary together in January.
“She helped keep me grounded when I finished my active duty service,” Furlow said. “When I first got out of the Army, I didn’t have anything else to do besides apply for jobs and go on long bicycle rides in the German countryside with Kathi.”
“We really enjoy bicycling together,” said Furlow who also likes reading, playing guitar and barbecuing. “I’ve been bicycling ever since I moved here because it’s such a bicycle friendly and heavy bicycle area.”
“We even ride our bikes to the Netherlands and back sometimes,” he added.
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.
In addition to its APS-2 mission at Dülmen and soon to be Coleman APS-2 worksite mission in Mannheim, Germany, Army Field Support Battalion-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 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.