The 21st Theater Sustainment Command invited British Armed Forces to participate in a two-week joint training on NATO logistics tool, Logistics Functional Area Services, to prepare for Defender Europe 23 on Panzer Kaserne in Kaiserslautern Germany, December 5-16, 2022.
The three-phase training included 15 U.K. and U.S. military members and began with online instruction. Phase two was a two-week course to study a nation’s data used in a multinational setting at Royal Air Force Brize Norton in October 2022.
The two forces got to know each other well after four weeks of in-person training.
“We both see how our nations operate,” U.S. Army Capt. Brandon Grifford, transportation planner, 21st TSC.
Grifford said group training influences planning and improves logistics by understanding the strategy behind other countries’ operations and methods of movement.
“Having these combined trainings we build both relationships but also confidence.”
According to Grifford, offering bilateral courses such as this spreads LOGFAS skills to more 21st TSC personnel and builds capabilities.
Ian Garnett, LOGFAS instructor, NEXUS Lifecycle Management, said he taught students to combine data and setup deployment strategies used at the national and international logistics command and control.
LOGFAS is the ultimate interoperable logistics tool. According to Garnett, LOGFAS allows partners to obtain information about surface movement in regards to schedules, details of cargo and routes and manipulate those details to utilize it for their operations.
Garnett explains the importance for logisticians to learn alongside one another.
“The students are able to see in a practical way how each other work for a common objective and to support the mission that has been directed at the political, strategic and operational command levels,” said Garnett.
The upcoming objective is DE 23 and it is approaching quickly. DE 23 is a series of linked U.S. Army Europe and Africa led training exercises scheduled for May and June 2023. It is an immediate response global exercise, focused on allied forces’ ability to quickly and effectively respond to crisis situations as an interoperable, multinational team.
DE 23 is a kaleidoscope of movements and LOGFAS organizes those movements for reports and analysis.
LOGFAS allows NATO to work as one force and the coordination between personnel is key says Garnett. Aside from the technical tools Garnett is teaching, there is a connection between the students that is developing.
“The relationships fostered through this combined training can improve coordination as they work together during the Defender exercise and any other future operation,” said Garnett.
British Army Maj. Richard Whetter, training requirements authority, defense support, said the training was good preparation for DE 23.
“It’s a much better mechanism to learn it with another nation," said Whetter.
“There’s always been a special relationship between the U.K. and the U.S.,” said Whetter. “We look forward to working with 21st TSC in time. Maybe this could be the seeds of closer ties between our great armies.”