U.S. Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux provided mission command at an Equipment Configuration and Hand-off Area, or ECHA, at Tapa Barracks, May 8-10, issuing hundreds of Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 vehicles and equipment pieces to a Colorado Army National Guard unit for DEFENDER-Europe 22. Over 500 pieces of fully mission capable APS-2 equipment sets and vehicles were transported from Army Field Support Battalion-Germany’s APS-2 worksite in Dülmen, Germany, to Estonia for the exercise. The gaining tactical unit was Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 169th Field Artillery Brigade, a Colorado-based Army National Guard unit from Aurora. They were issued radar equipment, a fuel truck, a palletized load system prime mover, tactical Humvee ambulances, 2.5-ton light utility trucks, Humvees and more. In addition, thousands of secondary items and repair parts were issued as well. Armed with this information, the 169th FA Bde. was able to clearly delineate what equipment they needed to bring with them from their home duty station to augment the APS-2 issue.
“We had met several times with the 169th Field Artillery Brigade command and staff in order to prep the battlefield. We did a cross walk with them of all the equipment we have to inform them of the capabilities we bring to the fight as an Army Prepositioned Stocks provider here in Europe. We really tried to lay the groundwork for them before they came out here to ensure they had a full complement of equipment to execute their mission. I think that all of our planning efforts – all the meetings and rehearsals – really paved the way for a successful draw of APS-2 equipment and expeditious integration of the 169th Field Artillery Brigade into DEFENDER-Europe 22,” said Maj. James Maskovyak, AFSBn-Benelux Support Operations officer and mission command officer in charge at Tapa Barracks.
DEFENDER-Europe 22 is a series of U.S. Army Europe and Africa multinational training exercises within U.S. European Command’s Large Global Scale Exercise construct taking place in Eastern Europe. DEFENDER-Europe 22 demonstrates U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s ability to conduct large scale ground combat operations across multiple theaters in support of NATO and the U.S. National Defense Strategy. Both AFSBn-Benelux and AFSBn-Germany full under the 405th Army Field Support Brigade. 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.
The Colorado Army National Guard is a component of the United States Army, United States National Guard, and Colorado National Guard. Nationwide, the Army National Guard comprises approximately one half of the US Army’s available combat forces and approximately one third of its support organization. National coordination of various state National Guard units is maintained through the National Guard Bureau. Colorado Army National Guard units are trained and equipped as part of the United States Army. The same ranks and insignia are used and National Guardsmen are eligible to receive all United States military awards. The Colorado Guard also bestows a number of state awards for local services rendered in or to the state of Colorado. The Colorado Army National Guard is composed of over 3500 soldiers, maintaining 30 armories in 24 communities (as of 1999).