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NEWS | Jan. 25, 2024

Stress recognition, management important part of AFSBn-Germany’s mission set

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

When Raphael Scharf, a certified social worker, researched the effects of stress on Soldiers as part of his university thesis, Army Community Service experts at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach and a Bundeswehr psychologist who deployed with the German army helped him better understand how.

Now, the transportation specialist at Army Field Support Battalion-Germany is directly responsible for supporting Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 operations across Europe. He said the management or mismanagement of stress can absolutely affect APS-2 operations. And because of this, stress recognition and management are an important part of AFSBn-Germany’s mission set.

“Understanding the factors that contribute to stress was the main focus of my university thesis,” said the 30-year-old German local national employee at AFSBn-Germany’s support operations directorate. “It’s about better understanding how the Army can adapt to modern times and provide beneficial services to Soldiers and their families. And, by the way, I’m speaking about the Bundeswehr and the U.S. Army.”

“There’s a lot of factors that should be included because stress also involves families and coworkers and the entire team,” said Scharf, who started working at AFSBn-Germany last May but has been with the U.S. Army for about 3.5 years.

“And we can’t underestimate the effects post traumatic stress disorders and multiple combat deployments have on our Soldiers,” said the graduate of Technical University Nuremberg Georg Simon Ohm. “All these factors and conditions can influence the mission.”

At AFSBn-Germany, a strong emphasis on tackling the root causes and the effects of stress is important to the leadership and the entire team, said Scharf, who likes to work out and hike to help relieve personal stress. From the battalion commander and sergeant major down to the intermediate and lower levels of leadership – and across the entire formation – stress management and recognition is critical.

“My supervisor, who is an Army major, listens to me and takes my concerns seriously, and he’s always very open to my suggestions on taking a different approach to solving a problem or an issue,” added Scharf, who said he prays every morning and always strives to be a blessing for his organization. “I can be honest with him and say, for example, ‘hey, maybe this is not the best approach we can take for this problem; can we have a different look at it from this angle?’”

The bottom line for AFSBn-Germany is two-fold, Scharf said. It’s the people who make up the organization, and it’s the mission. To be successful, you need to be focused on both. He said his battalion is able to do so while remaining fully perceptive to the fact that “logistics rules.”

“If you go back to the Roman Empire, for example, you’ll see that they were successful because they had logistics solved to a certain degree,” said Scharf, who grew up in a small town near Erlangen, where the U.S. Army’s Ferris Barracks was located until the mid ‘90s.

If a solid logistics system is in place and the APS-2 program is fully operational, Scharf said the Army in Europe can react very quickly to a contingency or emerging situation, fully supporting operations through the dynamic employment of APS-2 unit equipment sets.

“We’re always doing our very best to support the mission and the Soldiers,” said Scharf. “AFSBn-Germany does a phenomenal job maintaining and keeping its APS-2 vehicles and equipment sets fully mission capable and ready for issue.”

Germany battalion is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th Army Field Support Brigade and is headquartered at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany. In addition to its APS-2 mission, AFSBn-Germany is responsible for U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Logistics Assistance Program in Europe. The program is operated by Logistics Assistance Representatives from AMC’s four Life Cycle Management Commands – Aviation and Missile Command, Communications and Electronics Command, Joint Munitions Command, and Tank-automotive and Armaments Command. LARs provide subject-matter expertise on all Army fielded systems and assist Soldiers with troubleshooting and early detection of faults. These LARs serve side-by-side with supported tactical units and are currently deployed in support of multiple operations across Europe.

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