By Col. Sylvia RafelsAugust 19, 2010
The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Forward Iraq, under the auspices of the 402d Army Field Support Brigade, executes oversight and requirements management to provide combat service support to U.S. military and Department of State personnel in the Iraq theater of operations, and at the same time continues to have a leading role in supporting United States Forces-Iraq responsible drawdown efforts.
The ultimate end state of Team LOGCAP in Iraq during drawdown is successful withdrawal of forces, base realignment, and accurate and complete property disposition. This end state is achieved with a right-sized contracting enterprise in mind, ensuring we continue to provide quality LOGCAP services "on time and on target." These essential combat support services include, but are not limited to, base life support services, food service, bus transportation and water production.
In Iraq, the LOGCAP staff is divided into North, Central and Southern regions to coincide with United States Divisions - North, Central and South. Command and control is provided by a regional officer in charge. Each regional OIC is staffed with logistics support officers dispersed throughout the region at key locations to support mission requirements.
In addition, there is a LOGCAP office supporting corps-level logistics service support, theater transportation management and postal operations at Joint Base Balad that is aligned with the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Brigade.
The main focus of this article is on the staff, mission, and functions of LOGCAP in the USD-North area of operations and its leading role in Responsible Drawdown of Forces, including base transfers, base closure assistance teams, support to the Iraqi Air Force, and property disposition.
Currently, the USD-N falls under command and control of the 3rd Infantry Division, also called Task Force Marne. TF Marne is responsible for operations in the Northern Area of Iraq. As part of the mandate to reduce American forces to 50,000 troops by Sept. 1, 2010, TF Marne is working to reduce its footprint of Soldiers, equipment and locations.
LOGCAP supports the USD-N by providing logistical combat support services to bases located within the region. LOGCAP LSOs are located at various installations in USD-N and serve as the program interface to the supported units. They work in conjunction with the administrative contracting officers of the Defense Contract Management Agency, who are tasked to provide contractual administrative oversight of all LOGCAP services, and the CENTCOM Contracting Command's representative to collaborate on the best approach in fulfilling the supported unit's requirements. This team is responsible for analyzing and recommending the best contract solution for additional service or support requests from supported USD-N units. It should be noted that the LSOs actively assist the customer in developing a statement of work for the required services and oversee the life cycle of the requirement from development through service delivery. In the case of bases returned to the Government of Iraq, the LSO is significantly involved throughout the base closure process.
TF Marne has aggressively worked to fully transfer or transfer to partnership status more than 40 former U.S. facilities in northern Iraq. Assisting in this effort is the Base Closure and Assistance Team - a contracted team of multifunctional logisticians which guide units through processes, procedures and best practices for transferring bases to Iraqi authority. The BCAT teams go to a unit's location in order to provide hands-on assistance and build habitual relationships while working closely with the LOGCAP staff at that location. The efforts of TF Marne and supporting BCATs have resulted in 100 percent on-time base transfers with zero deficiencies reported by the U.S. Government and the Government of Iraq.
Bases returned to the Government of Iraq in USD-N follow a 135-day timeline template developed by the contract service provider. The timeline begins with the base transfer notification, immediately followed by a coordination meeting with the base mayor and supported unit. The supported unit initiates a statement of work requesting the commencement of base transfer activities that includes a timeline for the cessation of all LOGCAP services provided at that base. Property at the base is inventoried and vetted for use elsewhere, be it within Iraq, Afghanistan, or other government agencies. The contractor personnel at the base fill vacant positions elsewhere or are demobilized, depending upon need. The contractor is relieved of its property control obligation and the base is considered closed when the mayor, administrative contracting officer, and the contractor's site manager sign the letter of release at the end of the 135-day cycle.
Using another technique called Tiered Authority, a portion of a base may be returned to the Government of Iraq, while the U.S. retains a presence there. At Contingency Operating Base Speicher, several large areas of the installation are being turned over to the Iraq Air Force as they open the Iraq Air Force Academy there. These facilities will be used by the IAF to house, feed, and train their future aviators. All property within the facilities is vetted for use elsewhere as with the 135-day timeline mentioned previously. The buildings are then turned over to the IAF as fully functional with power, lights, heating and ventilation. This gradual turnover of the facility, occurring simultaneously with the U.S. drawdown, allows for a smaller U.S. footprint on the base, hence a smaller logistics support effort for LOGCAP.
Using the 135-day timeline and Tiered Authority, the USD-N has reduced both its Soldier and contractor presence by several thousand in concert with drawdown actions. Actions continue to prepare the remaining bases for closure as we near the Dec. 2011 deadline. LOGCAP continues to be timely and vigilant in its support of drawdown actions, while maintaining its high level of service support to the warfighter - always adhering to the mantra of "on time, on target."