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NEWS | Jan. 30, 2024

40 years at Dülmen: AFSBn-Germany employee knows APS-2 site better than anyone on earth

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

Dave Simpkin’s knowledge of the Dülmen Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite in the North Rhine-Westphalia town of Dülmen is impeccable. In fact, when it comes to the facilities and the history of the APS-2 site, he’s likely the most knowledgeable person on earth. 

As a teenager in the early 1980s, Simpkin’s father was a staff sergeant and a supply specialist with the British army stationed at Dülmen, and Simpkin would visit the NATO storage and distribution depot often. After joining the British army, himself, Simpkin was stationed at what was then referred to as Forward Ordnance Depot Dülmen in ’87 and ‘88 as a staff clerk with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

If that wasn’t enough, following his enlistment with the British army, Simpkin took a local national civilian job working at the Dülmen worksite and was employed there by the British for 27 years, culminating his career with the Brits as a warehouse supervisor in 2015.

Less than two years later, the U.S. Army took command of Dülmen, and Simpkin was back at the site again – this time working for the U.S. First, Simpkin worked as a contractor for six years in facilities and as a base operations manager, and now he’s a local national employee with Army Field Support Battalion-Germany, 405th Army Field Support Brigade.

“I basically look after all the facilities – the buildings and the all construction, et cetera,” said Simpkin who works in plans and operations and acts as a liaison between the contractors and AFSBn-Germany.

Simpkin, a logistics management specialist, said he also works directly with the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux Directorate of Public Works. USAG Benelux has overall responsibility for the facilities at Dülmen, and Simpkin, as the primary liaison between DPW and his battalion, keeps the AFSBn-Germany site director informed and on top of things.

“I also look after the TDY vehicles, making sure they are serviced and maintained, and I look after the security side of things, making sure the military police have everything they need and we’re doing everything properly,” said Simpkin who works in base operations and facility security at Dülmen. “If the contractors have any problems with the military police, I’m there to help sort it out.”

Simpkin’s knowledge of the worksite is impeccable, and having this base of knowledge readily available and there for his team is extremely helpful and important. With all the name changes, facility upgrades and changes to the site’s mission over the years, Simpkin has been there through it all. The 57-year-old Brit from Colchester, England, has lived at Dülmen for 40 years.

Simpkin said the Dülmen APS-2 site, which was under the command of the British from 1969 to 2016, was used as a forward ordnance, storage and distribution depot with various sorts of stores, or supply warehouses, used during major exercises and for contingencies. He said there were no vehicles stored and maintained at Dülmen, then. Instead, there were mobilization, engineer and loan stores, which were part of the British army’s supply system.

“At that time, if a conflict with the Eastern Bloc broke out, reinforcements from Britain would land in Antwerp, Belgium, and go to Recklinghausen to pick up their vehicles. Then, they’d go to Wulfen [Germany] to pick up ammunition; they’d come to Dülmen to pick up the general stores they required; and they’d go to a place called Warendorf [Germany] for petroleum before they would go to the frontline,” said Simpkin. “They’re all gone now, except Dülmen and a small British enclave at Wulfen now occupied by the Bundeswehr.”

For the last couple of years under British command, the only mission at Dülmen was the return of equipment back to Britain, said Simpkin. At that time, the manning levels at Dülmen were extremely low, a stark difference from its heyday in the 1980s during the Cold War when over 800 personnel worked there.

Simpkin said the current manning level at Dülmen, including contractors, now stands at a hardy few hundred again. The worksite supports the 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program and is comprised of about 140,000 square feet of hardstand space and approximately 480,000 square feet of humidity controlled warehouse space with an additional 140,000 square feet of storage in the maintenance and storage swing space areas. This includes the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency warehouse, which is approximately 80,000 square feet.

The APS-2 mission at Dülmen enhances U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s readiness and capability to support the warfighter while simultaneously promoting stability and security in the region. By providing turn-key power projection APS-2 packages ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, the Dülmen APS-2 worksite is a key component of U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s power projection and warfighter readiness missions.

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 at and the official Facebook site at