By By Sgt. 1st Class Pete Mayes, 101st Sustainment BrigadeMarch 9, 2011
Future complex aims to centralize, organize logistics yard
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The late comedian George Carlin said it best: "Everybody's gotta have a place to put their stuff."
That is what the 101st Sustainment Brigade is attempting to do as they undertake the arduous task of re-configuring the logistics complex at Bagram Airfield. It also intends to help transform BAF as it begins its shift from a "contingency operating base" to a more "enduring operating base," according to Cpt. Patrick Kelly, brigade engineer.
"This project has a four-fold purpose. It's to centralize, organize, limit the amount of movement on vital areas of Bagram, and begin the construction of an enduring footprint," he said.
Re-organizing the logistics complex is one of several projects the "Lifeliners" are undertaking during their deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Another includes establishing a railway and port system at the Hairatan Gate Border crossing.
Kelly said the brigade fell in on the project from its predecessor, the 82nd Sustainment Brigade, and begin the task of re-shaping the complex.
"We've taken the idea from just one portion of BAF and the functions around it, to how we want all logistics on Bagram to look and flow with each other," Kelly said. "The idea being if we take everything off the main drive and move it to one centralized location, then that would become the logistical complex."
The project, called "BAF after Next," impacts several buildings around BAF, including the Riggers' shed, the Post Office and the Control Receiving Shipping Point yard. It also includes purchasing additional land to better serve and store cargo on.
"Bagram was built for 15,000 people, and it is now double that," said Maj. Joe Suddith, brigade Support Operations officer in charge. "We are the central logistics hub for regional command East, North and Capitol. As we improve the complex, we improve our ability to deliver supplies to our troops ... getting the right stuff to them at the right time, instead of the right stuff on time plus 15 days."
Among the complex's finished projects include the Joint Distribution Management Center, which support the coordination of joint distribution operations, as well as maintaining situational logistics awareness, the CRSP yard, and an Empty Container Collection Point.
"The CRSP yard in particular allows us to process cargo in and out of BAF more rapidly," Kelly said. "By co-locating everything in one location, it's easier to get things done."
Easing traffic congestion on BAF's main road is another by-product of the future complex, Kelly said. "We have a huge traffic problem here, and by consolidating everything, ideally traffic will go down substantially."
Suddith said there is no expectation that the entire project will be completed by the end of the brigade's tour, but adds the leaders are "putting the logistics brain power against the engineer's problems solving skills to creating a long -term solution."
Kelly said they will also use Afghan contractors for the construction project. He also said they could eventually see Afghan workers taking a more active role in the complex's construction by 2015.
"The intent here is to help get the locals trained and learn a vocation to take care of themselves," he said.
Suddith also pointed to recent projects that highlight the brigade's efforts to streamline logistical operations. The volume of empty containers at the Class I warehouse has decreased significantly to below 500, he said. The container backlog at the Class II and Class IV warehouses at the Kabul Holding Yard has gone from 800 to 11, and should be at zero by the week's end, he said.