By Sgt. 1st Class Michelle Conrad, 7th Civil Support Command, Public Affairs OfficeDecember 13, 2011
MANNHEIM, Germany -- The 7th Civil Support Command's Equipment Storage Site Expanded, provides an efficient and value added asset for the Army Reserve in Europe. The ESS-X serves 22 Army Reserve units throughout Europe by consolidating equipment storage and maintenance into one location.
The ESS-X is a critical resource for Army Reserve units in Europe to maintaining mission readiness. A majority of Army Reserve units in Europe do not have the benefit of a full-time staff of mechanics and supply personnel on hand to adequately maintain the varied and unique equipment inherent to the 7th CSC. The ESS-X is a readiness capability for commanders, which enables units to maintain higher unit status reporting across the command.
Local German nationals, along with Calvin Robinson, the Logistical Manager Supervisor and Contracting Officer Representative, and Sgt. 1st Class Arnold Olson III, the 7th CSC maintenance noncommissioned officer in charge, work to maintain the equipment and ensure the Army Reserve resources are efficiently utilized in keeping it in a fully deployable status at all times.
Olson, a native of St. Paul, Minn., recently arrived in Germany and is very knowledgeable about the ESS-X.
"Sgt. 1st Class Olson has one of the biggest responsibilities in the command, which is why he was brought here", said Lt. Col. Anthony Francia, the deputy logistics officer for the 7th CSC.
Quality control checks are a standard ESS-X procedure. These checks are based on the Standard Army Maintenance System, which does analysis of trends for all maintenance needs. For example, if a vehicle's tires need to be replaced sooner than the expected wear-out period, then the quality control check would indicate a trend of a possible manufacturer defect preventing any future purchases of defective parts and equipment.
Francia remembers when the ESS-X was stood up for the first time.
"All of our vehicles were parked in one warehouse," said Francia. "When I came back 10 years later, the 7th CSC grew exponentially that made it necessary to expand this capability."
The ESS-X is not without challenges according to Olson.
"We are working the kinks out of our SAMS system to ensure a better smoother customer service oriented maintenance program similar to working models already in existence in the Army Reserve," said Olson. "Once we work out the kinks there will be significant increases in the availability of operating metrics and service to the customer units under the 7th CSC footprint."
The ESS-X is periodically augmented by U.S.-based Army Reserve Soldiers to supplement the workforce with maintenance support as part of the Overseas Deployment Training active duty program. A typical ODT rotation is two weeks long, which Soldiers take part in to satisfy their annual training requirement.
Ms. Kabaka Teague, a logistics analyst, works with stateside units to locate and identify qualified Army Reserve Soldiers to participate in and support the ODT program.
"It gives Army Reserve Soldiers an opportunity to work in Europe, which is both a personally and professionally enriching experience, especially since a lot of these Soldiers have never had a deployment," said Teague.
As a token of the 7th CSC's appreciation to the ODT Soldiers' tremendous support to the ESS-X, Brig. Gen. Mark Hendrix, commanding general of the 7th CSC, presented coins to the visiting U.S. based Army Reserve Soldiers of the 978th Quartermaster Company and the 489th Engineer Battalion for their supportive efforts.
"The ESS-X has supported Army Reserve Soldiers and units in Europe for more than ten years," added Francia, "and it is something we couldn't do our mission without."