By MAJ Pierre A. Spratt, 402nd AFSBJune 17, 2011
The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade is the premiere single face to the field for theater property accountability, RESET, and responsible drawdown of equipment in Iraq. The 402nd accomplishes its core mission in Iraq from end-to-end integration across the Materiel Enterprise for joint and coalition forces in support of Operation New Dawn.
Posed with the current problem set in Iraq of how to responsively support Operation New Dawn and project responsible equipment drawdown in order to provide predictability throughout the retrograde process while simultaneously minimizing transportation friction and frustrated equipment within the Iraqi Joint Operations Area and Kuwait, the 402nd AFSB will rely heavily on its core tenants, ensuring the drawdown of equipment is done in a manner that is founded on property accountability, velocity and transparent visibility.
The 402nd AFSB will remain the single face to the field for sustainment logistics, acquisition and technology to protect equipment and sustain joint and coalition forces supporting Operation New Dawn.
The 402nd AFSB will overcome this strategic challenge by keeping in line with its core vision, which is to support the Warfighter as their premiere Materiel Enterprise partner on the battlefield and maintaining its position as the single face to the field for Army Materiel Command sustainment logistics forming a Materiel Enterprise in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar that integrates acquisition, logistics and technology to protect, equip, and sustain joint/coalition forces supporting Operations New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The key task for the 402nd AFSB is to provide retrograde support in support of Operation New Dawn, in order to relive supported units of accountability of Theater Property Equipment and Automatic Reset Induction equipment enabling units to redeploy from Iraq no later than Dec. 31, 2011 or end of mission. The 402nd AFSB purpose is to support United States Forces Iraq complete transition out of the IJOA.
The 402nd AFSB views Retrograde Requirements over Time as the Enemy (R/T=E) for the duration of the execution phases of Transition 2011. A significant challenge is meeting our retrograde of property requirements within the time constraints modeled within the transition process. The 402nd AFSB does not anticipate a culminating point during the transition process, and will remain flexible and fully capable to support drawdown requirements and most importantly the Warfighter.
The foundation of responsible retrograde is anticipation coordination and deliberate execution. The 402nd AFSB has developed a synchronization matrix that links the entire transition process to current capabilities and is the most essential planning tool we have to mitigate and anticipate equipment retrograde as we launch Transition 2011. The synchronization matrix provides a deliberate level of transition execution which mirrors the USF-I Knowledge Management Tool systems database currently integrating within the IJOA.
The way ahead is to synchronize the windows of opportunities for theater property turn-in by unit, location, density of equipment and method of turn-in from beginning to end, utilizing of our most valuable theater asset, Redistribution Property Assistance Team static sites, and our Mobile Redistribution Property assistance Teams. The RPAT and MRPAT functions within the 402nd AFSB is the single arm of execution for the Materiel Enterprise and has the capability to process and retrograde more than 7,000 pieces of rolling stock equipment per month. With eight enduring RPAT sites throughout the IJOA located at Al Asad, Joint Base Balad, Victory Base Center, Tallil, Taji, Kalsu, Marez and Speicher, the primary focus of RPAT yards is class VII supply items, TPE retrograde and ARI support. The RPAT yards are joint operations staffed by Soldiers, Airmen and Department of the Army civilians and contractors.
We further anticipate utilizing the Door-to Door process for more than 40 percent of the current on hand theater property in Iraq. This is based on current mission analysis and historical comparisons of the more than 200,000 pieces of retrograde equipment from Waterfall 2010. The door-to door transportation method allows for commercial retrograde out of Iraq through east and west port corridors of Um Qasar, Iraq, and Aqaba, Jordan, as opposed to utilizing our southern ports via Kuwait. The D2D process further utilizes the Iraqi Transportation Network, which eases stress on our Army transportation assets and further multiplies velocity thorough our RPAT yards and the retrograde process in its entirety.
Brigade Combat Teams, Advisory and Assistance Brigades are the Army’s premiere maneuver force and the 402nd AFSB’s largest Class VII customer in Iraq. To mitigate maximizing RPAT yard capacities during the transition process, we plan to execute the MRPAT to BCT/AAB first option. Our current MRPAT density of 12 teams throughout the IJOA will increase to 16, making our MRPATs expeditionary and self-reliant, able to have internal communications systems thus, enabling the ability to operate in austere conditions.
Expeditionary MRPATs bring the full might of the Materiel Enterprise to the front door of the maneuver commander. This will additionally provide the 402nd AFSB with the fidelity needed within the transition process at the BCT/AAB level. This linking of MRPAT to BCT/AAB model is twofold and additionally compensates for RPAT yard capacity limitations. Providing predictability and making the turn-in process a more deliberate scheme of maneuver for the maneuver commander.
The tactical road march self redeployment option plays a significant role during the final transition months, specifically after July 2011. The 402nd is currently developing RPAT Kuwait, which will be a full-spectrum redeployment center located at Camp Virginia.
The strategic timeline remains our foundational business model for successful drawdown within the IJOA, identifying key milestones which remain cyclic throughout the Transition 2011 process. At the 180-day mark, the 402nd AFSB provides supported units with its initial TPE briefing which continue to set the stage and tone for responsible transition. Within the 120-day window, units have the responsibility to identify excess equipment, scrub the assets visibility listing and perform internal excess management analysis within the 90 day window. The 402nd AFSB facilitates units’ 90 day window coordination of transportation assets for turn-in and obtain appropriate turn-in documentation and inspection of equipment. This is also when units turn-in unserviceable equipment to Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service. On or about thirty days out, units actually execute RPAT turn-in followed by unit movement and redeployment.
As we proceed with the transition of forces out of Iraq, we will continue to execute - keeping in mind the Army Materiel Command’s four imperatives: Early Triage, Property Accountability, Total Assets Visibility, and Early Disposition. What the 402nd AFSB is doing today is significant to the success of executing a smooth Transition 2011. Early Triage is the key, identifying key friction points and mitigation projected frustrations, in addition to remaining transparent both laterally and vertically throughout the transition process, the 402nd AFSB will provide a significant advantage over our worst enemy during the Transition 2011 execution - Time.