By Mr Charles Fick (AMC)June 24, 2011
FORT BLISS, Texas - By this time next year, Army Field Support Battalion - Bliss should be seeing a brand-new tactical equipment maintenance facility taking shape.
Army Sustainment Command engineering officials report plans have reached the 95% design stage, making it all but certain AFSBn - Bliss will be able to offer its supported units a new level of service.
Directed by the Army Corps of Engineers, construction is set to begin next year. The facility is one of a standard type, in this case, a Large TEMF. Corps of Engineers publications highlight energy efficiency, air quality measures and “occupants’ thermal comfort” as key features.
From the user’s standpoint, the “real-estate rule of thumb” features prominently: location, location, location.
“The new facility will be located in close proximity to the brigade combat teams we support,” said John Yroz, deputy to the commander of AFSBn - Bliss. “This makes moving the 1st Armored Division’s heavy equipment in and out of our maintenance complex faster and safer.”
The new maintenance capability represents a ground-level convergence of high-concept initiatives.
The 1st Armored Division ended its 40-year Cold War watch in Germany May 13, moving its flag to America’s Sun City - El Paso, Texas. With four brigade combat teams and supporting units, the division has a huge footprint, setting off a building boom at Fort Bliss.
For decades, Fort Bliss was a training base, home to the Army’s air defense artillery school. The face of the place and its pace have taken a quantum leap forward in recent years as billions pour into new facilities for “Old Ironsides.”
While the operating forces are setting up at Fort Bliss, the generating forces are also undergoing significant change.
Installation-level directorates of logistics have been the sole province of installation managers for generations. In the face of sustained expeditionary operations, this fragmented force-generating capability was revealed to be inefficient.
Looking to provide a responsive, synchronized generating force for a mobile operating force, the Army created the Materiel Enterprise and handed it over to Army Materiel Command. AMC, in turn, looks to Army Sustainment Command as its operational arm - making ASC the “Soldier’s Face to the Materiel Enterprise.”
Headquartered in Rock Island, Ill., ASC is well-advanced in the process of absorbing installation-level logistics activities, commonly known as DOLs, from Installation Management Command. Employing its global network of Army Field Support Brigades and Battalions, ASC is creating the means and methods to exercise once-disparate operations as an integrated force-generating capability.
Operating as an enterprise, ASC is enabling the Army to view a common operational picture, illuminating and integrating logistics capabilities and employing them as a strategic resource.
At Fort Bliss, the Materiel Enterprise is taking shape under the command of AFSBn - Bliss, a subordinate of the “Mighty” 407th Army Field Support Brigade.
The new maintenance facility is just one part of a planned logistics complex, merging and modernizing DOL facilities, while integrating other Materiel Enterprise partners, like CECOM and TACOM.
“Our long-range plan calls for a full-spectrum activity, conveniently located near our supported forces,” said Pete Delcourt, an ASC staff engineer and planner.
“The old DOL maintenance facility is located far from the newly arrived brigade combat teams, imposing unnecessary movement hazards for Soldiers,” Delcourt noted. He might have added that the decades-old facility was not designed to repair and maintain the heavy metal of an armored division.
In addition to its operational advantages, the new maintenance facility will be the latest in modern design, incorporating advanced environmental measures. According to Corps of Engineers publications, the new TEMF is a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (better known as LEED) structure.
Among the building’s features is a modern vehicle exhaust capture system, ensuring the safety and productivity of workers. Other TEMF options include solar walls to pre-heat make-up air, and “cool” roofs.
It’s all a grand design: A new building, enabling AFSBn - Bliss to deliver the full effect of the Materiel Enterprise to “Old Ironsides” Soldiers.