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NEWS | May 7, 2024

Know Your Defender: APS-2 accountable officer extremely important during DEFENDER 24

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

Accountability was key during Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 operations at the Libava Training Area in Czechia recently when the 405th Army Field Support Brigade issued an entire APS-2 cavalry regiment equipment set to a gaining tactical unit from the U.S. for DEFENDER 24.

Walking the Equipment Configuration and Hand-Off Area and helping to ensure accountability of over 400 major end items – everything from M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M113 Armored Personnel Carriers to fuelers, wreckers and more – was Sgt. 1st Class Sowande Tianyvu.

Tianyvu is the primary hand receipt holder and accountable officer at Army Field Support Battalion-Africa in Livorno, Italy. During DEFENDER 24, where AFSBn-Africa was tasked with mission command of the ECHA site in Libava, Tianyvu’s skills as an accountable officer were extremely important.

The 42-year-old husband and father of three has been assigned to AFSBn-Africa since August of last year. Since this is his first DEFENDER, he said he’s shadowing one of the accountable officers from the Coleman APS-2 worksite in Mannheim, Germany, where the cavalry regiment equipment set is normally stored and maintained. Shadowing the AO from Mannheim, who has participated in five DEFENDER exercises, is helpful to Tianyvu in getting a good lay of the land and understanding of APS-2 ECHA operations, he said.

“I’m getting eyes on how he runs ECHA operations as an AO because next year AFSBn-Africa will be the one providing APS-2 equipment for DEFENDER 25 in Macedonia,” said Tianyvu. “This is a good time for me to see how AO operations run here to help make next year even more effective for us.”

“The main thing I’m doing right now is more of a supervisory role,” said Tianyvu. “I’m making sure that the gaining tactical unit [West Virginia National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment] and the contractors and everyone here are all on the same page as far as the joint layouts and inventories and what’s expected, safety-wise – just keeping an eye on everything to help make sure it all runs smoothly.”

“Mainly, I’m helping to ensure property accountability is 100 percent maintained during the hand-off,” said Tianyvu, who celebrated his 17th anniversary with the Army last month.

“I never thought I would ever be in Czechia. It’s an amazing place, and the people here are awesome and very friendly. I’m super excited,” said Tianyvu, who calls Atlanta, Georgia, his home. “It’s awesome to be able to travel to different places around the world and experience different cultures because that’s not something people are typically able to do when living in the United States.”

Learning about a new country and shadowing a more experienced DEFENDER accountable officer are not the only things he’s taking away from DEFENDER 24, he said.

“Even though I’m supply, and I’ve been in different units – some of this APS-2 equipment [from the Coleman worksite] I’m not familiar with – some of these Bradleys and different things. I’ve never been in a unit that had this type of equipment so it’s awesome to come here and familiarize myself with it,” Tianyvu said.

DEFENDER is the Dynamic Employment of Forces to Europe for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness, and is a U.S. European Command scheduled, U.S. Army Europe and Africa conducted exercise that consists of Saber Strike, Immediate Response, and Swift Response. DEFENDER 24 is linked to NATO’s Steadfast Defender exercise, and DoD’s Large Scale Global Exercise, taking place from 28 March to 31 May.

DEFENDER 24 is the largest U.S. Army exercise in Europe and includes more than 17,000 U.S. and 23,000 multinational service members from more than 20 Allied and partner nations, including Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

For more photos, videos and information on DEFENDER 24, go to

The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The brigade provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging the 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