ZUTENDAAL, Belgium, –
Col. Filip De Vare, chief, Section Land Systems, Belgium army’s Directorate General Material Resources, visited the Army Preposition Stock-2 site to get hands-on information on the site and its equipment, here, July 6.
Maj. Erik Adang, base commander, Belgian army, and Capt. Hans Mogelgaard, Plans and Operations officer, APS-2 Zutendaal, welcomed the visitors.
While Adang provided an overview of the base’s history and makeup, Mogelgaard provided insight on the Army’s APS program and more specific details about APS-2 Zutendaal.
The APS-2 site shares the base with the Belgian army and is part of the Army’s Prepositioned Stocks Program which strategically prepositions critical war stocks afloat and ashore worldwide to reduce deployment response times for a quick and agile expeditionary Army. The stock site is part of the European Reassurance Initiative and facilitates NATO’s rapid deterrence options.
Zutendaal was opened on Nov. 21, 2017 and is one of the two APS operations under the mission command of Army Field Support Battalion - Benelux. The AFSBn is one of four battalions of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Zutendaal is set up to hold and maintain equipment for a sustainment brigade encompassing 32 unit identification codes. “We [AFSBn - Benelux] are the custodian of the property. We are here to support the warfighter for whatever they need to do,” explained Mogelgaard.
According to De Vare, the Belgium Armed Forces are working with a €9.2 billion ($10.8 billion) budget to invest in new equipment. The DGMR is planning to acquire new combat and combat support vehicles.
“This [visit] is a great opportunity to see what [equipment] you have, perhaps get some technical information on the different vehicles you have,” De Vare said. “It can be helpful for future acquisitions.”
De Vare’s interest in the APS-2 site was sparked when attending the site’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in November.
“This year and the next year we have some important projects going on. Protected combat recovery vehicles is one of the programs running this year. Light- and heavy-armored trucks [acquisitions] are planned for next year. We just acquired battlefield surveillance radar and light troop transport vehicles for the Special Forces and paratroopers,” De Vare said.
Following the briefings, the visitors had the opportunity to closely look at heavy equipment transport systems, palletized load system, high-mobility multipurpose-wheeled vehicles, and container handling systems.
The Belgian team thanked Mogelgaard for the tour and was impressed by the rough terrain cargo handlers and the Heavy Equipment Transport System.
“It is always great when different armies with different backgrounds meet and exchange ideas,” Mogelgaard said.