Thursday, June 4, 2015

European Activity Set proves successful, being expanded | Article | The United States Army

European Activity Set proves successful, being expanded | Article | The United States Army

"The European Activity Set proved so successful that the Army chief of staff approved growing it to a full brigade combat team," Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche said.

These activity sets allow a combatant commander to have a forward capability without permanent stationing of troops, he said.

Wyche, deputy commander of Army Materiel Command, or AMC, was keynote speaker at the Association of the United States Army's Institute of Land Warfare-sponsored Hot Topics: "Strategic Sustainment for a Globally Responsive and Regionally Engaged Army," June 3.

The European Activity Set, or EAS, are combined-arms, battalion-sized groups of vehicles and equipment that are pre-positioned in Europe to outfit Army regionally-aligned forces when they rotate into theater for training, disaster relief, theater security or contingency operations, he said.

The activity set includes vehicle systems and equipment, which would outfit a combined-arms battalion, such as M1A2 SEP v2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and M2A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, as well as the standard array of tracked and wheeled support systems, according to the U.S. Army Joint Multinational Training Command, or JMTC.

Pre-positioning vehicles and equipment in Europe allows the Army to save time, money and resources by only rotating personnel into theater, rather than shipping large equipment back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, according to JMTC.

Wyche revealed that the Army is also building activity sets for U.S. Africa Command and for U.S. Pacific Command. The latter sets will likely be located in Southeast Asia. Activity sets will also be built for Special Operations Command, he said.


Positioning of forward-deployed equipment is not limited to activity sets. The Army Pre-positioned Stocks, or APS, program positions warfighting equipment ashore and afloat worldwide to reduce the deployment response times.

While Wyche did not mention all of the APS locations in the world, he touched on a few, noting that mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles and bridging capability are being pre-positioned in the United States.

Also, an APS set consisting of an added sustainment brigade and route-clearing package are being added to South Korea. And, he said, the Army is fielding a humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief set with U.S. Southern Command and adding an infantry battalion to U.S. Central Command.

All of that equipment needs a place to stay, and much of it is now outside in the weather.

AMC is constructing 15 climate-controlled warehouses, which will "extend equipment shelf-time and realize annual savings of $100 million in reduced lifecycle costs just by removing equipment out of the weather," he said.


Wyche addressed a number of other AMC initiatives, including the Logistics Modernization Program, or LMP.

"LMP is a $1.1-billion investment, replacing 35-year-old legacy systems, improving accuracy, reliability, speed to better deliver readiness support in global environment," Wyche said.

Before the LMP was conceived, AMC depended on "ponderous, 30-year-old [information technology] systems to manage its logistics operations and supply critical equipment and repair parts to the Soldiers," according to AMC.

These systems - the largest of which were the Commodity Command Standard System and the Standard Depot System - "evolved into a complex web of software solutions that were difficult to maintain and almost impossible to update to address the Army's rapidly expanding supply needs," according to AMC.


Another AMC initiative is the Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise, or EAGLE, a strategic sourcing strategy to integrate supply, maintenance and transportation service requirements across the Army, Wyche said.

For example, there are transport agreements with 146 companies, he said, and EAGLE streamlines the acquisition of logistics services at 73 logistics readiness centers at Army installations.

EAGLE also promotes better buying power by increasing competition and increasing opportunities for small businesses to become prime contractors, he added.

In the past, many installations placed separate contracts for maintenance, supply, and transportation support services. The EAGLE acquisition strategy centralizes functional responsibility, eliminates redundancy, and maximizes efficiency by combining these, according to AMC.

Lastly, and on an unrelated topic, Wyche announced that AMC just launched a program called AMC 1000, which will offer 1,000 high school and college students intern opportunities for the next five years throughout AMC starting this month.