WAEGWAN, Republic of Korea — In the darkness, monolithic vehicles loom in massive warehouses. Though they sit quietly, they are not forgotten, as they are constantly monitored and maintained by teams of experts who keep them ready to “Fight Tonight.”
The 403rd Army Field Support Brigade provides Army Sustainment Command a forward presence to assist in managing sustainment maintenance and supply within Japan and the Republic of Korea. The unit is headquartered at Camp Henry, Republic of Korea, and remains a mission-focused modular unit, organized to place logistics power forward to every element of the expeditionary Army within their area of operation.
The 403rd AFSB uses a specific program called the Care of Supplies in Storage, or COSIS. The program exists to ensure the true condition of material is continuously known and recorded. The COSIS program helps the Army avoid wasteful replacement costs and prevents the issuance of non-issuable mission-critical equipment to units within the Republic of Korea. Accurate resource requirements are established, and equipment is maintained in a readiness condition to meet forecasted demands.
When vehicles reach their end of service date, they are replaced with newer models, which leads to a constant rotation of vehicles on and off the Korean Peninsula. Maintaining the vehicles on hand and continually modernizing the fleet is the mission of Army Prepositioned Stocks-4, Army Field Support Battalion-Northeast Asia, headquartered at Camp Carroll, Republic of Korea.
“Our sole purpose is to maintain the equipment, so it is ready at any time to issue to the units for any contingency,” said Capt. Joseph Cabalo, operations officer, AFSBn-NEA.
Rows of tanks lined the Waegwan storage facility during a recent tour for senior military leaders.
“You are definitely seeing an influx of new vehicles,” Cabalo explained to leaders when asked about seemingly crowded warehouses and storage lots. “What's happening is we’re receiving new equipment as we are also laterally transferring older equipment that can go to another unit that needs it,” he added.
A lateral transfer is the movement of nonexpendable property from one organization to another. These transfers are made when there is excess property in one organization and shortages in another.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicles have replaced the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected MaxxPro vehicles. The JLTVs are effective in diverse weather conditions and terrain. They also offer greater mobility and concentration of combat power. This process is part of the ongoing modernization effort within the Republic of Korea to ensure strategic combat readiness.
The 403rd AFSB can support an armored or Stryker brigade combat team during exercises to validate their equipment and ensure the unit is fully mission capable. The unit also coordinates as necessary with Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide integrated and synchronized global deployment and distribution capabilities throughout the Korean theater of operations.
Together, the units synchronize sustainment to provide timely solutions within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s region.
“We support the joint warfighter by providing agile distribution and deployment support on time, on target — every time,” said Lt. Col. Juan Amador, commander of the 837th Transportation Battalion. “Just recently, we coordinated with 403rd [AFSB] and 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command for vessel download, port staging and onward movement of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. From a holistic perspective, our strategic reach enables joint warfighter readiness in the INDOPACOM area of operation.”
Amador’s battalion is headquartered in Busan, Republic of Korea, and represents a direct linkage with SDDC.
The Soldiers and civilians of the 403rd AFSB continue to honor their long-lasting history of maintaining the Army’s material at the highest level through innovative modernization efforts.