KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The 21st Theater Sustainment Command held their inaugural maintenance symposium on Vogelweh Military Complex, Feb. 15 and 16. The symposium gathered members from United States Army Europe and Africa, 21st TSC and its subordinate units to an open forum to discuss maintenance and allow members the opportunity to network.
The event began with opening remarks from Lt. Col. Nathaniel Cincala, chief of staff of logistics, 21st TSC, and Maj. Gen. James Smith, commanding general, 21st TSC, about the importance of maintenance.
This is the first maintenance symposium of its kind according to Dana Dillon, logistics management specialist, 21st TSC.
“From my understanding, I haven’t seen any archive files that show any type of maintenance symposium happening in the past,” said Dillon. “So [we] felt that it was overdue and would be a good forum to get logisticians and maintainers talking to each other to do crosstalk.”
The theme of the forum was “Back to the Basics.” Dillon says this was driven by the need to return to the cornerstone of maintenance.
“If you catch problems early, they don’t turn into bigger problems,” said Dillon. “So that, being back to the basics, really was trying to reinforce catching stuff at the lower level.”
The symposium covered a variety of topics including Global Combat Support System – Army, the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence, the agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road [ADR] and policies. GCSS-A is a web-based automated logistics system and the AAME recognizes units for maintenance excellence. The forum also provided the opportunity for units such as 16th Sustainment Brigade to showcase and discuss their capabilities.
“So, I thought this symposium got off to a great start,” said Maj. Michael Maternick, logistics support branch, 21st TSC. “We had our commanding general here at the beginning of the day and we had the [16th] brigade commander here and it showed that command emphasis and why maintenance is so important. That two commanders took time to come in and talk to the troops about it.”
Another key aspect of the symposium was the opportunity for maintainers across different fields and units to discuss best practices and exchange ideas with one another. It allowed members to put faces to names and build rapport within the maintenance community.
“What we’re really looking at, is trying to develop it into a combined logistics forum, where we have supply and maintenance personnel,” said Dillon.
He goes on to say while the initial symposium will cover general information and topics, the expectation is for the forum to evolve. Eventually, the intent is to allow the discussions to transition from general knowledge to specialties within maintenance or supply.
The 21st TSC is USAREUR-AF’s lead organization for all sustainment activities including logistics support, transportation, and all other areas in the field of sustainment. The TSC executes sustainment across the entire European Theater in support of U.S. European Command and NATO operations.