An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article Display
NEWS | June 27, 2023

Quality assurance team helps keep Army Prepositioned Stocks at high state of readiness

By Kevin Grimm, AFSBn-Mannheim 405th Army Field Support Brigade

The 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 mission is resourced in part through the Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise program, or EAGLE program, which provides the contractors needed to meet the Army’s APS-2 logistical support service requirements in Europe. Contracting officer representatives, in turn, oversee and ensure these contracted requirements are met.

“At the Coleman APS-2 worksite in Mannheim, quality assurance representatives from Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim play a key role in this EAGLE contract oversight, serving as the contracting officer’s eyes and ears,” said Herbert Gately, chief of QA, AFSBn-Mannheim, 405th AFSB.

Working onsite with government contracted maintainers and logistics personnel, the QA specialists help to ensure the APS-2 equipment is received, stored, maintained, modernized and operationally configured within the contract scope to meet the requirements set forth by U.S. Army Sustainment Command and the Army, Gately said.

At the Coleman worksite, this currently includes two armored brigade combat team’s worth of APS-2 equipment such M1 Abrams main battle tanks, M2 Bradley fighting vehicles and M109 Paladins, plus tactical wheeled vehicles, material handling equipment, generators, command control and communications equipment, basic issue items, and more. Later this year or early next, one ABCT’s worth of APS-2 gear is scheduled to move to the newly opened APS-2 worksite in Powidz, Poland, the Long Term Equipment Storage and Maintenance-Complex, there.

The AFSBn-Mannheim QA team is staffed by permanent party Army civilian employees and rotational, contingency Army Expeditionary Civilian Workforce deployed civilians with collective experience in quality assurance, quality control, contracting, maintenance, supply and transportation disciplines, said Gately. 

QA Team Objectives

The AFSBn-Mannheim QA team is tasked to ensure onsite contractors are accomplishing all Care of Supplies in Storage work tasks, also called COSIS, said Gately. This includes equipment maintenance, logistical support property accountability and equipment issue in accordance with the contract’s performance work statement, the QA surveillance plan, onsite standard operating procedures, APS and maintenance policies, and best practices in the management of the program.

“There are two ways of doing things – the wrong way and Army way,” said Gately. “At Coleman worksite, we do things the Army way every time.”

Specific Tasks and Key Methods

“Simply put, quality assurance specialists perform three tasks – observe, document and report,” Gately said.

Key methods used by the Coleman QA team involve sampling contractor work orders based on workload, quality trends, quality history, mission requirements and non-compliance reports, said Gately. These key methods also include observing the contractor’s performance in the management of contract data to include execution of Global Combat Support System-Army, or GCSS-A, maintenance and supply tasks, ensuring modification work orders completed by the contractor are inspected and applied onsite as well as documenting this in the Maintenance Management Information System, or MMIS. They also review equipment presented to the QA office in MMIS to ensure safety message completion and documentation.

“The QA specialists also observe contractor completion and performance of all test, inspection and sustainment maintenance tasks – ensuring the APS-2 equipment is repaired to Army maintenance standards, and is fully mission capable and ready for issue,” Gately said.

One of the key missions for the QA team is “ensuring the APS-2 fleet of M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, M109 Paladins, and tracked recovery vehicles are configured for combat, and ready for issue,” said Dwann Jackson, an AECW employee deployed to Mannheim from Red River Army Depot, Texas, who is one of the QA specialists tasked with ensuring this key mission is met.  

Equipment accountability is another key mission when it comes to APS-2 readiness, Gately added. The QA team helps provide oversight on contractor managed inventories of equipment and materials, ensuring accountability and availability for issue through periodic sensitive item and cyclic inventories, physical security inspections, and supply audits using GCSS-A.

For all U.S. Army and contracted personnel at the Coleman APS-2 worksite, safety and security are paramount, according to Gately. One of the missions of the AFSBn-Mannheim QA team is to conduct daily walk throughs while observing contractor ground guide procedures, use of personal protective equipment, or PPE, periodic evaluation of equipment load tests, reviews of occupational health standards, and audits of APS-2 tactical wheeled and heavy tracked vehicle operator’s training programs.

To further compliment Coleman’s worksite safety program, Gately said senior U.S. Army and contractor project management staff conduct weekly quality and safety walkabouts – the purpose being to visit the different work areas and offices and talk to employees about safety and quality. This provides employees at the ground level with the opportunity to voice their concerns and improvement ideas directly to management, fostering personal responsibility and ownership for the safety program. 

The QA specialists at the Coleman APS-2 worksite also ensure hazardous materials are documented, stored, issued and disposed of in accordance with Army and host nation policies, said Gately. This includes the placement of HAZMAT labels, use of HAZMAT safety data sheets, employee use of PPE, appropriate segregation of onsite corrosive and flammable items and availability of fire suppression systems and devices, plus all the appropriate onsite certifications and training requirements for environmental safety and health personnel and leadership.

Recently, the QA Team at the Coleman APS-2 worksite coordinated with other organizations within U.S. Army Europe and Africa for the redistribution of excess packaged petroleum products, which is considered HAZMAT.

“This project will save operational dollars through redistribution and the reduction of disposal costs for these HAZMAT items,” said Gately. 

Coleman APS-2 worksite QA specialists ensure APS-2 stocks are stored and issued within the COSIS service schedules, Gately said, extending equipment shelf life through an intensive “first in, first out management of Type 1 and 2 COSIS items.” In addition, aggressive monitoring of high value COSIS priority group items, implementation of Integrated Logistics Support Center corrosion prevention programs, and observance of U.S. Army Sustainment Command Packaging, Storage and Containerization Center guidance is strictly followed.

Going forward, the AFSBn-Mannheim team of QA specialists and cadre of contracting officer representatives will continue to work together to provide the critical oversight needed to maintain the readiness of APS-2 while expanding the team’s role in the oversight of emerging onsite equipment modifications and fieldings.

The Coleman APS-2 worksite is located on a former Army airfield. In August 2021, U.S. Army Europe and Africa announced that it will retain the Coleman worksite, which was previously scheduled to be returned to the German government.

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. APS-2 sites like Coleman help reduce deployment timelines, improve deterrence capabilities and provide additional combat power for contingency operations. APS-2 equipment may also be drawn for use in training and exercises.

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 AMC’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at and the official Facebook site at

(Kevin Grimm is an AFSBn-Mannheim QA specialist at Coleman APS-2 worksite in Mannheim, Germany. He is also an Army Expeditionary Civilian Workforce employee deployed to Germany from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where he is assigned to U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command)