Maintainers assigned to the Installation Maintenance Division make final preparations to remove the failed engine from the Fire Department’s Engine BRUSH 2 at Fort Cavazos, Texas, on Jan. 20, 2023.
Maintainers assigned to the Installation Maintenance Division make final preparations to remove the failed engine from the Fire Department’s Engine BRUSH 2 at Fort Cavazos, Texas, on Jan. 20, 2023. (Photo Credit: Michael Beauregard) VIEW ORIGINAL

Whether you know it as an Army field support battalion (AFSBn) or logistics readiness center (LRC), when units at Fort Cavazos, Texas, need logistics support, they know whom to call. Knowing is half the battle, and according to Army Techniques Publication 4-91, Division Sustainment Operations, the AFSBn provides direct support sustainment functions to each division installation. The AFSBn enables readiness with backup field level maintenance, supply support (such as central issue facility (CIF), fuel, ammunition, and dining facilities), and support to power projection platform (PPP) and mobilization force generation installations (MFGIs). Fort Cavazos and Fort Bliss, Texas, are the Army’s only active MFGIs.

AFSBns are unlike most Army battalions with large Soldier presence. The unit primarily consists of contractors and Department of the Army (DA) Civilians, along with four military personnel: battalion commander, executive officer, support operations officer, and battalion sergeant major. AFSBns provide logistics solutions by integrating and synchronizing Army Materiel Command (AMC) worldwide-level capabilities, which increases deployment and operational readiness at the tactical points of need. Additionally, the battalion finds adaptive and creative ways to support the warfighter in the strategic support area and across the battlefield.

AFSBn-Cavazos, The Tusker Battalion, supports the largest corps and division in the U.S. Army, the III Armored Corps and the 1st Cavalry Division. AFSBn-Cavazos is a high-performance organization that serves as the installation’s conduit for AMC’s full portfolio of logistics support and services. Whether receiving individual equipment from the CIF, enjoying a meal at a warrior restaurant, drawing ammunition from the ammunition supply point (ASP), having a seemingly unrepairable vehicle repaired to like new condition, shipping personal property to your next duty station, or deploying and redeploying through one of the installation deployment nodes, our battalion directly impacts every Soldier and unit on Fort Cavazos through our supply, maintenance, transportation, and modernization displacement and repair site (MDRS) divisions.

Supply and Service Division

The supply and services division delivers baseline logistical support for the warfighter. It provides our Soldiers with requisite individual clothing and chemical defense items for training and deployment through a CIF. The division operates the installation food service system, ensuring delivery of rations to dining facilities and available for field training exercises. They manage the installation supply support activity (SSA), Phantom SSA, for 16 nondivisional III Armored Corps separate units, Class VII yard, central turn-in point, and weapons warehouse through the retail supply branch. The division includes the installation property book office (IPBO) as baseline services. Finally, it administers the Defense Logistics Agency’s energy bulk fuel contracts, limited laundry contract support, and the administration and oversight of the ASP and ammunition delivery contracts.

The CIF is a contract-operated function that provides organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) to more than 138,500 Soldiers, including the issue of more than 553,000 pieces of OCIE. During this past year, the office recovered, through the turn-in process, more than 810,000 pieces of OCIE. The IPBO maintains accountability of installation property consisting of 72 active storage locations for AFSBn-Cavazos, predeployment training equipment, and the Fort Cavazos garrison. The installation property book team manages 84,951 items valued at $512,750,286.78. For fiscal 2022, the IPBO executed 1,500 lateral transfers valued at $32,760,226.68. They issued 7,517 items valued at $25,320,468.57 and processed 9,950 turn-ins valued at $21,832,026.84.

Maintenance Division

The maintenance division is a multidimensional organization operating within a 35.5-acre military industrial park. Its core mission is repairing, rebuilding, and retrofitting base operations commercial equipment for the garrison. Additional maintenance support is provided to all tactical units based at Fort Cavazos to maintain combat power. The division also supports Fort Cavazos’ PPP and MFGI mission strategy by supporting deploying and redeploying forces for ground combat, combat service, and combat service support units across all three components (active duty, Army Reserve, and National Guard). The maintenance division completed over 5,000 work orders and expended 150,000 man-hours repairing equipment in the past calendar year. There was also an additional 1,100 work orders and 20,500 man-hours used to repair Army Reserve equipment reset.

Transportation Division

The transportation division is responsible for delivering baseline services to Soldiers, family members, and civilians by managing the shipment and storage of household goods (HHG) and personal property; planning, coordinating, and executing unit deployments/redeployments by air, rail, line haul, and sea; and providing nontactical vehicle support to Fort Cavazos and mobilizing units.

The Personal Property Processing Office processes HHG shipment applications, provides quality assurance inspections of customers’ HHG deliveries and pickups, manages long- and short-term storage for permanent change of station, separation, retirement, special deployment storage and DOD employees on official movement orders in Fort Cavazos’ area of responsibility as well as certifies invoices for these moves. For the past year, the Personal Property Processing Office supported 30,732 customers, completed over 8,096 shipment applications, and inspected 8,506 deliveries or pickups while managing an average of 2,600 stored lots. It also certified more than 5,874 nontemporary storage invoices.

MDRS Division

The MDRS division executes a streamlined and efficient one-stop operation for receiving excess equipment from Fort Cavazos and selected units from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, relieving them of property accountability, increasing Army readiness across all three components of the Army, and providing platforms for depot production lines in support of the Army’s Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model (ReARMM). MDRS delivers retail parts through wholesale-level supply, maintenance, and transportation services to the units at Fort Cavazos and selected Fort Sill units by providing immediate property accountability relief, reimbursable maintenance, and coordinating transportation as required to expedite equipment displacement for redistribution or divestiture. The end state enables all units to enter their modernization phases with minimal legacy equipment on hand to maximize new equipment training and new equipment fielding, focusing on readiness synergy.

Lines of Effort

To deliver AMC’s full portfolio of logistics support and services to Fort Cavazos units, the battalion team has developed several lines of effort, which are the foundation of the unit’s campaign plan. These lines of effort protect the force, 1st Cavalry Division readiness, installation logistics, and MDRS.

Protect the Force

AFSBn’s most effective combat multiplier is its workforce. At AFSBn-Cavazos, less than 1 percent of the workforce is military, 27 percent are DA Civilians, and the remaining 72 percent are contractors. Without the world’s most dedicated workforce, of which 90 percent are veterans themselves, this mission would stall. The AFSBn-Cavazos safety office is the proponent for the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) effort to promote worksite-based safety and health. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA representatives establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health. AFSBn-Cavazos achieved OSHA’s highest safety ranking, the Star rating, in 2018. To date, AFSBn-Cavazos is the only AFSBn in the Army to have achieved this coveted rating.

Safety has been critical to the battalion’s success. The battalion continued to champion and improve upon the organization’s OSHA VPP Star among Stars site status by reviewing every aspect of the operation. Part of the review embraced two VPP fundamental principles that are the foundation for our safety program and drive the tremendous safety accomplishments we continue to attain: management and leadership involvement and team member participation.

AFSBn-Cavazos leadership is committed to the safety and well-being of DA Civilians, Soldiers, contract employees, and family members by providing safe and healthy working conditions and implementing safe work practices. Across the battalion, no task or work process that we perform is so important we cannot devote the necessary time and resources to do it safely. Employees maintain this culture regardless of the capacity in which they work. They assume responsibility for safety awareness, committing to maintaining safe conditions and performing duties in accordance with safe work practices. The battalion has included Fort Cavazos’ industrial hygiene, occupational health, and emergency services in all hazard assessments. This practice has proven to be invaluable in achieving our safety goals.

1st Cavalry Division Readiness

AFSBn-Cavazos fully implemented the division logistic support element (DLSE) tactical standard operating procedures, which are the foundation for DLSE operations during training exercises and deployments. The DLSE synchronizes AMC enterprise-level support and strategic enablers to build and enable combat power in direct support of the division. It conducts weekly equipment readiness working groups for wholesale backorder analysis and status while identifying sourcing solutions for items not found locally. The DLSE also projects Life Cycle Management Command presence (logistics assistance representatives) forward across the battlefield for the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Communications-Electronics Command, and Aviation and Missile Command. The battalion’s DLSE proof of concept was solidified as it deployed to the National Training Center (NTC) in support of two consecutive 1st Cavalry Division NTC rotations, NTC 22-05 and 22-06.

Installation Readiness

By DA policy, AFSBns and LRCs provide base operations support (BASOPS) to AMC garrison table of distribution and allowance units with BASOPS equipment. Army Sustainment Command policy further stipulates AFSBn deputies and LRC directors are the points of contact for U.S. Army garrison commanders, providing direct oversight of the S-4, property book officer, and maintenance management functions. AFSBn-Cavazos serves as the garrison commander’s primary staff officers for key logistics and readiness support on Fort Cavazos. We provide logistics and readiness support to all units deploying through Fort Cavazos; logistics support in installation materiel maintenance for Class I, Class II, Class IV, Class V, and Class IX; as well as installation transportation support. AFSBn-Cavazos oversees the Army’s most active PPP/MFGI, deploying over 3,740 units last year. This accounts for over 83,500 Soldiers and 18,500 short tons of equipment from all Army components.

MDRS

As explained earlier, the AFSBn-Cavazos MDRS division executes a streamlined and efficient one-stop operation for receiving excess equipment from Fort Cavazos and selected Fort Sill units, relieving them of property accountability in support of Army ReARMM efforts. Last year, AFSBn-Cavazos MDRS division received 4,172 proposed sourcing decisions and processed 17,285 pieces of equipment from Fort Cavazos and Fort Sill units. This trend has continued into 2023.

Summary

At AFSBn-Cavazos, the team takes immense pride in completing tasks that support tactical, operational, and strategic missions. Over the years, this battalion has become adept at moving and receiving brigade combat teams and corps headquarters on and off Fort Cavazos; receiving, relieving, processing, and shipping thousands of excess Class VII equipment through our MDRS division; supporting multiple NTC rotations every year with our DLSE; feeding Soldiers at our warrior restaurants; and working materiel management tasks and pass back maintenance work orders to enhance unit readiness at our maintenance work bays. Our four divisions (supply and service, maintenance, transportation, and MDRS) are our backbone, and all are committed to warfighter excellence. Our phenomenal workforce is fully integrated and synchronized with Fort Cavazos sustainment and the AMC enterprise in sustaining and enhancing installation and unit-level readiness.

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Lt. Col. Troy Johnson currently serves as commander of the Army Field Support Battalion-Cavazos, 407th Army Field Support at Fort Cavazos, Texas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and an MBA. He is a graduate of the Quartermaster Basic Course, Air Assault School, Airborne School, and the Command and General Staff College. He is scheduled to attend the U.S. Army War College this summer.

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This article was published in the Summer 2023 issue of Army Sustainment.

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