ZUTENDAAL, Belgium – When a commanding general takes over a new organization, one of the first things he does is visit all of his subordinate units and, as a senior mission commander, all of his areas of responsibility. But when you are the commanding general of the 21st Theater Support Command and your areas of responsibility and subordinate units stretch across the continent of Europe, it is not always an easy task.
Army Major General James Smith – who took command of 21st TSC in June – ticked two strategically important pre-positioned Stock-2 work sites off his task list when he and 21st TSC Command Sgt. Major Sean Howard visited the 405th Army Field Support Brigade APS-2 yards in Eygelshoven, the Netherlands, and Zutendaal, Belgium on September 30. Netherlands, the same day.
405th AFSB Command Team – Col. Brad Bane and Command Sgt. Major Kofie Primus – along with the USAG Benelux Command Team – Col. James Yastrzemsky and Command Sgt. Major Katrina Herzfeld – greeted Smith and Howard. The leaders of the 405th AFSB’s Army Field Support Battalion Benelux and USAG Benelux provided briefings to Smith and Howard and escorted them through the two yards APS-2 and USAG Benelux Brunssum.
Smith said it was extremely important that he had a good situational awareness and understanding of the 405th AFSB’s APS-2 capability situation as well as the challenges facing the AFSBn Benelux and its two APS-2 yards. are faced.
“Two things – I can understand this better and I can be a champion for all of you for the resources you need to continue this mission,” Smith said. “Thank you for what you do on a daily basis to make sure we are ready to fight if we have to fight.”
Tiffany Mikus, site manager for the APS-2 construction site in Zutendaal, was one of the many executives who briefed Smith and Howard during their visit. Mikus held his briefing in one of the maintenance bays. Behind it and a large map representing the Zutendaal construction site, several maintenance teams were working on various vehicles and trucks.
“What I informed today was the operational aspect of the Zutendaal site – in terms of the density of the equipment, where we are in the current state and where we will be in the future state” Mikus said. “I also discussed what we need to do to get ourselves in the right position for the end state – 2027 and beyond.
Mikus said there are currently around 6,700 pieces of equipment at the Zutendaal APS-2 construction site, enough equipment to equip an army sustainment brigade, as well as several sets of bridges and more. .
To house and protect all this equipment, the Zutendaal APS-2 yard currently has 28 warehouses, Mikus said, as well as 770 outdoor parking and stage football fields, or more than 1,100 acres. Zutendaal is one of the largest APS-2 sites in Europe.
But what sets Zutendaal apart from other APS-2 sites under the command and control of the 405th AFSB, besides size, is the host nation’s workforce, according to Mikus.
“Most of our workforce is from host countries (Belgians), but they are treated as direct hires in the United States. It is not the same as having contract labor or even labor like the APS-2 site in Eygelshoven where the Dutch Minister of Defense does all the hiring actions. . Everything here is managed by the United States, ”Mikus said.
Patrick Strobel, the maintenance manager of the APS-2 yard in Eygelshoven, was one of the briefers when the 21 TSC command team visited this site. He said one of the challenges his yard faces is synchronizing mission priorities with infrastructure priorities.
To do this, “we are working closely with our USAG Benelux partners,” said Strobel.
“And we were able to keep our mission priorities in mind, for example, we have to clear this building by then and move these (pieces of equipment) so that the USAG Benelux or the US Army Corps of Engineers can come in. -y to do this or that, ”Strobel said.
“Staying intertwined with each other has proven to be a value-added concept,” he said.
The 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program is a key component of U.S. Army combatant readiness and power projection missions in Europe and Africa. The 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program provides turnkey power projection packages – ready to deploy at any time – while helping to reduce the amount of equipment needed from docking stations to deployed forces . Combat commanders identify their APS-2 requirements, and the 405th AFSB then executes and delivers equipment to deployed combatants.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to the US Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st TSC, the US Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides corporate materiel support to US forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater support logistics; synchronize procurement, logistics and technology; and leverage the US Army Materiel Command’s materiel business to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook website at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.