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NEWS | Feb. 28, 2024

Senior leader walkabouts at Coleman APS-2 worksite set new standard for safety

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

With support from senior leadership at Army Field Support Battalion-Poland and the primary contractor supporting Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 operations at the Coleman APS-2 worksite, a new standard of workforce safety at the site has been set.

Herbert Gately, the Coleman worksite director, and Maxx Henderson, the contractor’s senior safety manager at Coleman, are conducting bi-weekly safety walkabouts at Coleman to receive feedback from the workforce there regarding safety in their respective work areas.

With employee feedback and suggestions they gather, senior leadership at AFSBn-Poland can identify quick wins that will help improve the overall quality of workmanship as well as safety management at the worksite, Gately said.

“The primary focus is employee ownership, and getting feedback directly from the employees is very important to the success of any quality management and safety program because they are the ones who are in the shops on a regular basis,” Gately said. “Getting the senior management into the work areas creates an environment where the employees believe the upper management is listening and understands.”

Recently, Gately and Henderson visited an area where ground support equipment is stored and maintained and another area housing allied trades.

At the ground support equipment location, employees there were questioned on proper torque techniques and were able to explain them in depth to Gately and Henderson. The GSE manager has created a simple method to show mechanics how to adjust the torque specifications based on the circumstances. This was identified by the contractor as a best practice and is expected to be shared with other APS-2 sites under the 405th Army Field Support Brigade and higher.

At the allied trades area, employees there explained to Gately and Henderson that even though they work hard to keep the shop clean and orderly, nonetheless, it remains overly crowded with multiple projects, many of them already completed. The safety team at Coleman was made aware of their feedback, and currently there’s work being done to get the completed projects moved to the requiring sections.   

“When the employees see improvements made based on their input, they take even more ownership in the program,” Gately said. “That’s how it works, and that’s exactly what we’re looking to do.”

Gately said he brought this concept of senior leader safety walkabouts with him to the Coleman APS-2 worksite and the 405th AFSB from a previous assignment at Fort Cavazos, Texas. There he was introduced to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs, or VPP.

According to the OSHA website at www.osha/vpp, the Voluntary Protection Programs recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.

Recently, the director of Global Posture Policy from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Dorothy Ohl, visited the Coleman APS-2 worksite, which is located on a former airfield in Mannheim, to get a firsthand visualization of what the future infrastructure at the site is expected to look like and discuss infrastructure investment planning, there.

As part of the 405th AFSB’s regional alignment and transformation initiative, Army Field Support Battalion-Germany is set to assume mission command of the Coleman APS-2 worksite later this year, and AFSBn-Poland will move operations to Powidz, Poland, where the Long Term Equipment Storage and Maintenance-Complex is located.

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