KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany –
One of the prevailing discussions at the Association of the U.S. Army 2022 annual meeting and exposition held in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10-12, was Army Readiness and specific to one of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s major lines of effort – Army Prepositioned Stocks.
Dan Reilly, the executive director of support operations at U.S. Army Sustainment Command, talked to a large audience of AUSA attendees about the importance of APS during the event. Reilly used recent operations in Europe to stress the importance of ASC’s APS program. All five APS-2 sites in Europe under the command and control of the 405th AFSB were tapped to support recent operations in Germany, Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe in support of NATO’s response to the Ukraine invasion.
Reilly said the APS-2 equipment issued to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, earlier this year was the largest issue of tanks, fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers and other equipment and supplies to a unit since Army forces headed to Iraq in 2003.
“This has proven that APS is a huge enabler for our ability to project power – also a huge deterrence,” Reilly said.
Major Gen. Gavin Lawrence, the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s commanding general, described the sustainment pieces of the Army mission as the “connective tissue” between U.S. forces in the continental U.S. and operations overseas – including combat operations.
But with regards to APS, probably the most vocal at the AUSA meeting was Gen. Edward Daly, the commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command, who understands better than anyone that having essential equipment available at APS sites to use if needed is an important piece of Army Readiness and setting the theater.
“First is the criticality and the foundational requirement to set the theater. And when I say set the theater it’s on several levels from a logistics perspective – a sustainment warfighting functional perspective. The first is Army Prepositioned Stocks, unit sets and commodities – strategic depth of classes of supplies, specifically Class V (ammunition),” said Daly.
“When we talk APS, we’re really talking about making sure that it’s modern, it’s positioned correctly and it’s ready to go,” Daly said.
The APS sets must be postured for immediate issue to ensure the U.S. maintains the advantage and the initiative, and the issue of APS must be fast and not late to response, Daly said.
Daly also discussed some of the differences the Army faces supporting operations in Europe versus the Indo-Pacific. Specifically Daly addressed APS afloat, which is more pronounced than ever before, he added.
“We really have to look at it through a different lens and not just use the lessons for Europe to pull them over to the Pacific,” said Daly.
The five APS-2 sites in four countries across Europe under the command and control of the 405th AFSB help to reduce deployment timelines, improve deterrence capabilities and provide additional combat power for contingency operations.
Each of the 405th AFSB’s APS-2 sites has the capability to house and maintain at least a brigade's worth of equipment to include an ABCT, for example, plus engineer, artillery, military police, sustainment and medical capabilities.
The APS-2 program enhances U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s readiness and capability to support the warfighter while simultaneously promoting stability and security in the region. The APS-2 program is a key component of U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s power projection and warfighter readiness missions.
The 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program provides turn-key power projection packages – ready to deploy at a moment’s notice – while helping to reduce the amount of equipment needed from the deploying forces’ home stations. Combatant commanders identify their APS-2 requirements, and the 405th AFSB executes and then issues the equipment to the deploying warfighters.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to ASC 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 AMC’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.