By Jennifer King, 405th AFSB Public AffairsDecember 11, 2009
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - The 405th Army Field Support Brigade recently hosted Brig. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the deputy commanding general for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Greene visited the brigade to discuss the integration of military technology, specifically the Field Assistance in Science and Technology team's activities, into the brigade's operations.
"Part of what the RDECOM Forward Element Commands do is sometimes misunderstood," Greene said. "They are dedicated to the science and technology mission, and they execute in three main areas: standardization, technical searching, and science and technology. I believe that the science and technology mission has a direct connection to the AFSBs."
The relationship between the 405th AFSB and the European FAST team is a unique one. Lt. Col. Kevin Vanyo, a uniformed military scientist assigned to U.S. Army Europe, serves as the brigade's liaison to the FAST team. Although the AFSB has no oversight or management of the FAST program, the brigade is able to assist the FAST team by providing a direct link to various Army units which it supports, especially between the FAST team and the brigade logistics support teams and logistics support elements.
One of the brigade's key missions is the integration and synchronization of technology within the European theater of operations, a mission that is being worked jointly with the FAST team. A goal of this mission is to leverage professional networking at the tactical level, especially for the BLST and LSE teams. By reaching out directly to Soldiers in the field through the brigade, RDECOM can provide immediate reach back capability through its Quick Reaction Cells, designed to get Soldiers the scientific assistance they need as quickly as possible. This direct military-to-military contact is a key component to the mission's success.
For example, if a Soldier has a problem with a piece of newly developed equipment or has a suggestion for materiel improvement, the Soldier would go directly to the AFSB field representative. The information would be communicated directly from the AFSB representative through the brigade's Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Office to Vanyo, giving each Soldier a direct line of communication with military scientists and technology experts.
"Our relationship works very well," explained Col. Jack Haley, commander of the 405th AFSB. "One of our primary missions is the education of BLST and LSE chiefs and commanders to help them understand acquisition, logistics and technology. The FAST team's mission is parallel to ours, so it's a natural extension for us to work together. I believe that our relationship with science advisors throughout the European theater will only improve with time because it is a priority for us. We don't have a formal relationship with the FAST team - we have a partnership."
Greene is also interested in increasing the symbiotic relationship between the science advisors and the brigade.
"In addition to building the relationship now, we must also keep one eye on the future," he told the brigade's staff members during his visit. "We must develop an integrated plan to build the framework for the future, and we must capture the lessons learned as we move forward."
As he departed the brigade's headquarters, Greene thanked the brigade's staff for their hospitality and assistance.
"I really appreciate the briefing and all of the information that you have shared with me," Greene said. "This has really helped me understand the way some of our missions go together and how we're working together to accomplish them, and this has been very valuable to me."
For more information on the 405th AFSB's AL&T mission, contact Lt. Col. Eric Helm at DSN 314-483-4016 or commercial at 0049-631-411-4016.