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NEWS | June 27, 2024

Multifunctional APS-2, LOGCAP, LAR battalion ‘South of the Alps’ changes leadership

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

The 405th Army Field Support Brigade and the Livorno community bid farewell to one multifunctional battalion commander and welcomed another June 21 at Leghorn Army Depot, the only Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite South of the Alps.

Army Lt. Col. Alex Amato relinquished command of Army Field Support Battalion-Africa to Lt. Col. Ross Hertlein, who comes to Europe and the 405th AFSB from U.S. Southern Command in Florida.

Officiating the time-honored change of command ceremony was the commander of the 405th AFSB, Col. Ernest Lane II, who commended Amato for his leadership over the past two years supporting operations in Europe and Africa.

“Lieutenant Colonel Amato’s battalion had a direct impact through their support to U.S. Army Europe and Africa, 21st TSC, USAG Italy, and the brigade. His Logistics Support Team and [Logistics Civil Augmentation Program] personnel responded to numerous real-world crises throughout Africa,” Lane said. “As the brigade’s premier APS-2 site, his team hosted the Croatian military multiple times and was the first stop for Polish Provided Logistics Support maintainer training, right here at Leghorn Army Depot.”

“Even before he could get settled into his new home here in Italy, he was tasked to command the Remote Maintenance and Distribution Center-Ukraine in Southwest Poland for nearly four months. Responsible for over 220 Soldiers and Contractors, Lieutenant Colonel Amato oversaw the reception, maintenance, and delivery of over 1,300 end items to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, critical to Ukraine’s defense,” said Lane.

Lane also took time to recognize Amato’s spouse, Renee Amato, and his entire family. Following this, the 405th AFSB commander directed his attention to the new AFSBn-Africa commander.

“Lieutenant Colonel Hertlein has a tough act to follow, but I know he is capable of the task,” Lane said. “Coming from U.S. Southern Command in sunny Miami as a division chief for plans, exercises and multinational logistics, he is ready for this assignment, and we are ready for him.”

“Lieutenant Colonel Hertlein, there are many challenges to face here at Battalion Africa, but you have a great team who can get things done and get them done right,” said Lane.

AFSBn-Africa is charged with receiving, maintaining, and storing APS-2 at Leghorn Army Depot. In addition, the battalion is well postured to issue APS-2 to gaining tactical units at locations forward – known as equipment configuration and handoff areas, or ECHAs.

Africa Battalion is responsible for an Italian host nation workforce made up of personnel who, on average, have over 25 years of service with the U.S. Army. AFSBn-Africa maintains a robust power projection capability that includes air, rail, sea, and land, and it is the only battalion within the 405th AFSB with an operational support mission in both the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of operations.

Organizations AFSBn-Africa directly support – helping to enable readiness across two theaters of operations – are EUCOM, AFRICOM, U.S. Army Europe and Africa, Southern European Task Force-Africa, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and other strategic partners and allies.

AFSBn-Africa is one of four battalions under the mission command of the 405th AFSB, which 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 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