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Archive for the ‘Logistics’ Category

Marines with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division Experiment with Twenty-First Century Foraging Concepts

Friday, April 8th, 2022

KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii —

U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division experimented Twenty-First Century Foraging concepts during Spartan Fury 22.1 at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, March 2022.

Twenty-First Century Foraging concepts enable commanders to extend and enhance operational rations for a period without needing outside logistics support. “It is imperative that the Marine Corps logistics functions continue to adapt to force design and the future warfighting concepts. That includes reducing our logistical footprint,” said Lt. Col. Richard Neikirk, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 12th Marines.

During the exercise, individual Marines procured dry goods and fresh produce from local suppliers utilizing cash 1105 funds. The Marines were able to find and purchase eggs, sausage, bacon, chicken, rice, and canned vegetables. The food was brought back to the training area where the Marines experimented with various field cooking methods.

 “It is imperative that the Marine Corps logistics functions continue to adapt to force design and the future warfighting concepts. That includes reducing our logistical footprint”

 Lt. Col. Richard Neikirk, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines commanding officer

The Marines used lightweight, expeditionary, non-organic food service equipment such as individual cooking stoves, volcano grills, and the Expeditionary Food Service Trailer that is currently being developed by the Fort Lee Instructor staff. This equipment is designed to be sustainable for long durations in austere environments and will be employed by the lowest level of any unit and in any environment.

The food was able to feed the battery for three days with two cooked meals a day. The warm meals were a welcomed change from the self-contained, individual field rations that are typically consumed in the field. By cooking and procuring food, the battery proved that it could sustain itself without outside support for a duration of time. Limiting the need for outside logistics support enhances a unit’s ability to be adaptable, mobile, and lethal.

The experimentation allowed the Food Service Specialist accompanied by the Marines in the battery to exercise foraging concepts in a CONUS training environment. “This trial period allowed the Fort Lee Instructor staff to gain real life data and procedural analysis,” said Capt. Norman Bunch, operations officer at Marine Detachment Fort Lee.

The data collected during Spartan Fury 22.1 will be used to develop future training and readiness standards as well as the future periods of instruction for Entry Level, Non-Commissioned Officer, and Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Courses.

By Staff Sgt. Olivia Knapp

Defense Logistics Agency Designated DOD’s Printing Services Provider

Monday, March 28th, 2022

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (AFNS) —  

The Defense Logistics Agency is now the Defense Department’s primary provider of printing services, office print devices and electronic conversion services according to a DOD instruction signed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

All DOD components except DOD intelligence agencies, National Guard and Reserve organizations, tactical activities, and the U.S. Army Print and Media Distribution Center must now purchase such services through DLA Document Services. The change is expected to save tens of millions of dollars each year.

DLA Document Services offers numerous printing services ranging from brochures and training manuals to banners and aircraft decals. Custom and specialty options like vinyl, foam board and magnets are available, and the team can also produce large-scale items like museum displays.

“We can assist customers throughout every step of their project from planning to production,” said Nick Janik, DLA Document Services director of production operations. “Our print production employees work hard to make the customer’s vision a reality while being as efficient and timely as possible.”

DOD customers turning paper documents into electronic format can use scanning and conversion services available at DLA print facilities or with help of on-site technicians who can convert documents of all sizes. Digital conversion preserves documents and makes them searchable. Shredding services are available too.

The updated instruction also charges DLA Document Services with the procurement, delivery and sustainment of office devices including office, desktop and stand-alone printers as well as copiers, fax machines, scanners and multi-function devices – the latter of which is the main focus of the office device program. The process of procuring office devices includes an assessment of customer needs and existing equipment to ensure new devices are streamlined and compatible.

“Our office assessments help to eliminate unnecessary equipment and shift customers from a single-function or stand-alone environment to a business model of shared resources with MFDs,” said Terra Nguyen, division director for DLA’s office device program.

More information and help placing orders is available through local customer relations specialists or the DLA Document Services Customer Support Center at 866-736-7010 or [email protected]

Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations

$20 Million in APS-2 Materiel Delivered to Armored Brigade in Grafenwoehr

Saturday, March 26th, 2022

MANNHEIM, Germany – What’s easily apparent are the tanks and armored vehicles being prepared, loaded, transported, offloaded, staged and issued. But what’s less obvious are all the supply items, tools and repair parts needed to keep those vehicles and the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, up and running.

And that’s another area where Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim has once again excelled.

More than 4,700 lines of materiel — some containing over a thousand items per line — were recently accounted, reported, shipped and issued to 1st ABCT, 3rd ID, by a team of about 30 personnel under the command and control of AFSBn-Mannheim and the watchful eye of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade.

Valued at nearly $20 million, tens of thousands of Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 individual repair parts, supply items and tools in more than 40 containers were shipped from Coleman worksite in Mannheim, Germany, to Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, and issued to the U.S.-based armored brigade combat team deployed there from Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Georgie Rodriguez said the mission was a total team effort. Broken down into mostly 2-person teams, logistics supply specialists and contractors assigned to AFSBn-Mannheim, 405th AFSB and 1st ABCT, 3rd ID, completed the mission in just five days.

“It’s a very tedious process,” said Rodriguez, who serves as the Supply Support Activity noncommissioned officer at Support Operations, 405th AFSB. “They have to check everything – every single item – and then re-check and check again. And then they have to post all this information into the Global Combat Systems Support-Army.”

The Global Combat Systems Support-Army, or GCSS-Army, is a web-based automated logistics system that tracks and maintains accountability of repair parts and supply items. It’s capable of managing large volumes of transactions, and it provides current item location updates as well as expected times of arrival. It also interfaces with the General Funds Enterprise Business System, or GFEBS, for financial data tracking and feedback.

Rodriguez said two key individuals who helped lead the process and ensure the mission was a success were Phillip Bosco from AFSBn-Mannheim, who was the accountable officer for the more than 4,700 lines or materiel, and Nixon Pierre-Louis from 405th AFSB Support Operations, who was the materiel manager, planner and operations officer for the mission.

“I commend them and the entire team of Soldiers, Army civilians and contractors – to include Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez, Mr. Bosco and Mr. Pierre-Louis – for ensuring the process was finished in record time with 100 percent accuracy,” said Lt. Col. Brian Astwood, AFSBn-Mannheim commander. “Thanks for all your hard work.”

Rodriguez said his main responsibility was providing updates on the process to the Support Operations director, who in turn updated the 405th AFSB commander.

“Watching the representatives from the various organizations come together and react so quickly – it was outstanding,” said Rodriguez. “They executed the mission flawlessly – on time and on point.”

The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website and the official Facebook site.

Story by Cameron Porter, 405th AFSB Public Affairs Officer

Photos by SFC Georgie Rodriguez

Utilizing Semi-Autonomous Resupply to Mitigate Risks to Soldiers on the Battlefield

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz. — Situated in a broad swath of Arizona desert, Yuma Proving Ground offers the U.S. Army a prime location for testing — or “proving” — new capabilities.

It is a fitting home base for Project Convergence 2021, a modernization experiment organized by Army Futures Command’s Joint Modernization Command.

The event brings together members of the Joint Force to test and retest novel equipment and systems.

“It’s the initial steps of working out how our joint forces will need to operate in the future,” said Joseph Cruse, data collection and analysis execution lead for Project Convergence 2021.

Dotted throughout the dusty landscape at Yuma Proving Ground are high-tech, multi-phase exercises designed to validate the utility of first-of-their-kind tactical and operational scenarios, many of which are enabled by artificial intelligence.

One such scenario explores the Army’s ability to use joint sustainment semi-autonomous resupply mechanisms to improve logistical dexterity while mitigating additional exposure and risk to Soldiers.

“The goal is to ensure that we’re able to extend our reach, especially during MDO, which is multi-domain operations,” said Maj. Christopher Jones, the lead for semi-autonomous resupply testing at Project Convergence 2021.

“We can do that by applying semi-autonomous vehicles into our formations, to provide rest for Soldiers, to take the Soldiers off the ground and expedite those pushes that we need to get out to our Soldiers,” Jones said.

The semi-autonomous resupply process, as envisioned and executed, starts with a need on the battlefield — for food, supplies, ammunition or even replacement parts for heavy machinery.

The exercise at Yuma Proving Ground specified a need for a replacement part required by a tank operator in the field, setting into motion a number of steps to deliver the essential item.

Communicating with a base of operations, the tank operator described his location and the part needed, and personnel set to work quickly to obtain the part. Those responsible for doing so assumed a spare parts-limited environment, so a replacement was fabricated using a field-ready 3D printer capable of producing both plastic and metal objects.

The Army then dispatched a small convoy of leader-follower tactical wheeled vehicles, which can be driven independently, remotely or be made to follow a vehicle, to deliver the part to an Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV), a U.S. Marine Corps robotic vehicle, waiting at the (simulated) fighting edge.

Once the part was secured to the platform of the EMAV, Soldiers sent remote communications from a distance, signaling to the vehicle exactly where it should deliver the item. When it received the message, the previously still machine revved into gear, kicking tan dust onto its black tracks and road wheels as it accelerated up a hill and turned toward its destination.

According to Dr. David Stone, a senior robotic engineer with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, the EMAV is operational in all terrains, possessing the ability to not only travel through muddy fields but also to pull other vehicles out of the mud. Despite its relatively smaller size, “the thing’s basically a truck,” Stone said.

Stone elaborated that the EMAV, which is a diesel-electric hybrid, is “very robust. Its versatility and the modular aspect — being able to do different warfighting functions — is the real value of it.”

Originally designed to accompany dismounted Marines, the durable autonomous vehicle can also serve the needs of Joint Force missions, as evidenced by the exercise.

“Between the Army and Marine Corps, we are going after the same thing,” Stone said. “Anything we can do to leverage on another’s work helps us do more with the money we have.”

While an EMAV was used for the training exercise, the Army also intends to use its Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light to serve a similar purpose in future semi-autonomous resupply missions.

Following the arrival to its destination approximately two miles away, and the human-assisted replacement of the tank part in the exercise, the EMAV returned to its starting point, powering easily through gravel and dirt as it traveled among a group of heavy military trucks.

The scenario demonstrated how the U.S. military can integrate new field-deployable technologies with existing ones, offering additional options to commanders while decreasing the human footprint necessary to carry out logistical resupply missions.

“People who are supplying us with ammo, water, food, etcetera — anything that puts Soldiers at risk, the EMAV takes them out, and it saves lives,” said Pfc. Daniel Candales of 1-508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, who was trained on the various functions of the vehicle.

The Army is additionally working to develop complementary capabilities that would allow for autonomous loading of supplies and digital tracking of items and vehicles and testing prototypes for these systems at Project Convergence 2021.

Reducing the need for hands-on support will also enable Soldiers who would otherwise be assisting with resupply chains to tackle other priority tasks. In addition, augmenting methods for delivering necessary equipment and supplies over treacherous ground will bolster the Army’s ability to function effectively across multiple domains.

“Logistics is something we always have to improve upon,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Robin M. Bolmer of the Army’s Futures and Concepts Center, who observed the exercise. He explained that new technologies open up numerous possibilities for growth, but that “the need to sustain what we have is always going to be there.”

The Futures and Concepts Center developed the initial concepts for many of the technologies and systems being tested during Project Convergence 2021, and will assume responsibility for organizing Project Convergence 2022, which is slated to include the participation of U.K. and Australian forces.

Bolmer shared that he was observing this year’s activities with an eye toward continual modernization progress, keeping the question of “how do we build upon all the great work being done here?” always at the forefront of his mind.

By Maureena Thompson, Army Futures Command