By Galen Putnam, 402nd Army Field Support BrigadeMarch 14, 2011
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq, March 14, 2011 -- More than 50 logisticians from throughout Iraq and Kuwait gathered for what will likely be the last time, to share ideas and to plot a course for the final push out of Iraq at the 2011 Responsible Officer/Team Chief Conference here, March 11-12.
Hosted by the 2nd Battalion, 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, the conference focused on Theater Property Book operations and responsibilities, with regard to the retrograde from Iraq.
"This was an opportunity to bring some of the experts in theater together and find out where the friction points are and to better prepare for the transition," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Peavley, theater property book officer, 2nd Bn., 402nd AFSB.
"A lot of information came out of the conference, issues we weren't aware of that we were able to resolve," he said. "It also provided an opportunity to go over the many processes involved to make sure that we are all working in sync."
The conference kicked off with a Theater Property Book overview, but delved into many other operational areas such as Organizational Property Assistance Teams and Material Redistribution Teams, and Redistribution Property Assistance Teams.
The conference also covered the United States Transfer of Equipment to Iraq, Foreign Excess Personal Property, Contractor-Managed Government-Owned, and Theater-Provided Equipment Programs. In addition, the event examined nuts-and-bolts operations such as Wholesale Accountability and Lateral Transfer Policy.
"This was a good opportunity to discuss policies and program development for the transition," said Hollis Jackson Jr., team chief, Theater Property Book Team 1, 2nd Bn., 402nd AFSB, Victory Base Complex, Baghdad, Iraq. "This was our chance to get together to draw up the plan and discuss time lines in preparation for the next 'waterfall' that is coming up at the end of this year. The most important thing I got out of the conference was the plan of action on how we are going to execute. It was nice being able to see the whole plan come together."
Participants from outside the Army Materiel Command "umbrella" found the conference useful as well.
"There was a lot of information put out that will help us drawdown, turn in equipment, and be better prepared to leave Iraq," said Master Sgt. Anthony Watson, asset visibility noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 4th Infantry Division, VBC. "I particularly liked hearing from the OPAT (Organizational Property Assistance Team) and RPAT (Redistribution Property Assistance Team) representatives because that is where a lot of our equipment will be turned in to."
"Getting out of Iraq is going to be a logistical challenge and there are still a lot of questions out there, so was nice to get everybody in the same room to get some of those questions answered," said Capt. Staci Campbell, logistics officer, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion. "It was good to meet the people we will interact with and learn how they operate. This will allow us to work even better together as we take on the huge challenge to retrograding from Iraq."
Responsible officers are chartered to look out for the interests of the government, while team chiefs concentrate on the day-to-day operations of the 402nd AFSB's 12 Theater Property Book Teams.
The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, headquartered at Joint Base Balad, is the Army's largest brigade with more than 20,000 Soldiers, Airmen, Department of Defense civilians and contractors.