MANNHEIM, Germany – Just a couple of weeks after the announcement that Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Randy George was nominated to become the acting chief of staff of the Army, and the appointment of Sgt. Maj. Michael Weimer as the 17th Sergeant Major of the Army, they conducted a site visit and key leader engagement at the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Coleman Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite in Mannheim, Aug. 25.
Their first overseas site visit together in their roles as Army senior leaders speaks volumes to the importance of U.S. Army Sustainment Command’s APS-2 program in Europe and the 405th AFSB’s critical mission supporting that program and current operations across the theater following Russia’s unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine 18 months ago.
In trail behind George and Weimer, visiting the Coleman APS-2 worksite as well, was a slew of senior leaders. There was the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (G3) Brig. Gen. Patrick Ellis, 21st Theater Sustainment Command Commanding General Brig. Gen. Ronald Ragin, 21st TSC Command Sgt. Maj. Kofie Primus, a few colonels and many other senior officials and leaders.
Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim Commander Lt. Col. Omar McKen, AFSBn-Mannheim Senior Enlisted Advisor Master Sgt. George Barker and 405th AFSB Deputy to the Commander Joseph Scheff led George, Weimer and the entourage of senior leaders around the site. While doing so they answered questions and provided detailed information on the site’s current mission in support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, U.S. European Command, and Joint Forces.
In addition, a spouses’ meet and greet and Family Readiness Group meeting with Patricia George, Gen. George's wife, was organized and conducted by the 21st TSC’s FRG at the battalion headquarters on Coleman with support from AFSBn-Mannheim and U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz.
Due to the limited amount of time George and Weimer were on the ground at Coleman, much of the site visit was done primarily by windshield tour using a bus provided by the 405th AFSB’s Logistics Readiness Center Rheinland-Pfalz. However, some stops were made, and leaders were able to disembark the bus at various points of the tour to see the work being done at the facilities and get a close-up look at APS-2 operations there.
As the entourage of senior leaders moved around the APS-2 worksite, Scheff and a couple of select 405th AFSB mission partners tasked with the day-to-day storage and maintenance of thousands of tactical vehicles and combat equipment pieces at Coleman — to include an entire modernized armored brigade combat team — briefed George, Weimer and leaders present.
The Coleman APS-2 worksite director as well as a representative from Program Management Office M1 Abrams, a representative from U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, the USAG Rheinland-Pfalz commander and a few others also briefed the top leaders during the visit.
George presented coins of excellence to a few people while at Coleman. Before recognizing and coining Herb Gately, the Coleman APS-2 site director, George told him that many people don’t know about all the work that’s being accomplished there.
“People underestimate how hard you’re working out here and all the work being done,” said George to Gately. “Nobody has a clue how hard it is, but we get it. Thank you so much.”
George and Weimer are also scheduled to visit the 405th AFSB’s Long Term Equipment Storage and Maintenance-Complex and the 405th AFSB’s Remote Maintenance and Distribution Cell-Ukraine, both located in Poland, in the days ahead.
George was commissioned into the Army from the U.S. Military Academy in 1988 as an infantry officer. His most recent command was of I Corps at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, after which he served as the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense. He assumed duties as VCSA, Aug. 5, 2022, and a couple of weeks ago it was announced that he was nominated to be acting CSA. In addition, he was nominated in April of this year to be the next CSA.
Weimer was sworn in as the 17th Sergeant Major of the Army, Aug. 4. Enlisting in the Army in 1993, his most recent assignment was command sergeant major of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.
The 405th AFSB’s Mannheim battalion, also known as AFSBn-Mannheim, is charged with receiving, maintaining, storing and issuing APS-2 at the Coleman APS-2 worksite, which is located on a former Army airfield. In August 2021, U.S. Army Europe and Africa announced that it will retain the Coleman worksite, which was previously scheduled to be returned to the German government.
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. APS-2 sites like Coleman help reduce deployment timelines, improve deterrence capabilities and provide additional combat power for contingency operations. APS-2 equipment may also be drawn for use in training and exercises.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to ASC and under the operational control of the 21st TSC, 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.