By Deborah Harmond, FORSCOM G-4April 16, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (March 16, 2012) -- The Army's Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) is the process by which new equipment is distributed to Soldiers either at home station or in a theater of operations. Traditionally, the fielding is conducted by a contracted workforce under Program Executive Soldier -- Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM-SPIE).
The Army has begun to phase in organic logistic capabilities to perform those traditional fielding and staging functions. Brigade Combat Team's RFI fielding, beginning with brigades from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky., will be accomplished using a 34-person team (five subject matter experts from the Tank and Automotive Command, 26 Soldiers from the installation where the fielding will occur and 3 Central Issue Facility employees).
The new fielding process will be used to issue only to brigade combat teams inside the contiguous United States. The types of equipment fielded are Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniforms, Improved Outer Tactical Vests, Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts, Mountain Boots, Army Combat Helmets, Army Combat Shirts, and the Pelvic Protection System. The new process is an agreed upon course of action from the Logistics Management Mission In Process Team formed to study cost effective methods of issuing RFI.
The division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team is the first unit to be fielded equipment using this new process. As of March 8, 2012, 865 Soldiers had been issued RFI equipment.