Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2012 Contents 46 Army AL&T Magazine
Stood up in October 2009, the R2TF
helps determine where equipment needs
to go after deployment. The task force
includes representatives from U.S. Army
Medical Command, the Assistant Secre-
tary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics,
and Technology (ASAALT), and trans-
porters, among others.
"It provides a link from the foxhole back
to the commander. In some cases, equip-
ment can be disposed of and does not
need to be brought back to the United
States. A key part of the task is to antici-
pate equipment flow planned for the
future so as to maximize readiness," said
COL Larry Fuller, Division Chief, Plans
and Operations Division, G-3/5.
The ASAALT works in tandem with
AMC to shepherd equipment through the
R2TF process by placing program man-
agers or their representatives in forward
combat locations, said COL Don Moore,
Chief of Forward Operations, Deputy for
Acquisition and Systems Management.
"Our representatives provide forward sup-
port operations to the R2TF to make sure
equipment is properly tracked and reset.
They also work to scrub equipment, at
times removing government-furnished
equipment," Moore said.
A key aim of the R2TF is to avoid a static,
post-conflict buildup of war-damaged
items like the "steel mountain" of equip-
ment that accumulated following the
Gulf War in the 1990s.
"There were acres and acres of equip-
ment built up in Kuwait following the
Gulf War. We did not have the integrated
mechanisms for tracking equipment that
we now have. We ended up with a lot of
excess equipment," said Fuller.
The R2TF unit pools data and resources
to track the flow of equipment all the
way from its origin to its final destination,
cataloguing necessary stops along the
way. For example, an Abrams tank in Iraq
typically went from its FOB in theater to
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, before being put
on a boat back to a depot in CONUS.
"The R2TF has been a huge success. It has
enabled us, for the first time in history,
to retrograde and avoid having all of this
equipment sitting on the docks for years
and years and years, just like we did after
[Operation] Desert Storm. After almost
every war the United States has fought,
we've had trouble retrograding and get-
ting stuff out," Dwyer said.
Various information technologies are
woven into the fabric of R2TF, such as the
Army War Reserve Deployment System,
designed to provide visibility of equip-
ment already in the inventory. The R2TF
also uses a Theater Provided Equipment
Planner, whereby the user can put infor-
mation into a database so that a Life Cycle
Management Commander can provide
instruction on what to do with a given
piece of equipment, Fuller said.
"If I have a truck that I no longer need, I
can enter that into the system so that oth-
ers can see it and determine the best path
forward," he said.
About 99 percent of the large-scale items
go back to a depot for reset, Fuller said.
The RT2F also works closely with the
Army's Equipment Distribution Review
Board, a special unit co-chaired by U.S.
Army Vice Chief of Staff GEN Peter W.
Chiarelli and AMC Commanding General
GEN Ann E. Dunwoody that is tasked
with analyzing equipment needs and chart-
ing a path forward for items leaving Iraq.
"We've efficiently and effectively retro-
graded tens of thousands of pieces of
equipment from Iraq so that we could get
them back to our depots," Dwyer said.
KRIS OSBORN is a Highly Qualified Expert
for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for
Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Office
of Strategic Communications. He holds a
B.A. in English and political science from
Kenyon College and an M.A. in comparative
literature from Columbia University.
Each piece of excess equipment, like these night vision devices, must be inspected and inventoried
before units can turn them in for reallocation as part of the drawdown of equipment. Aiding in this pro-
cess are various information technologies, such as the Army War Reserve Deployment System, designed
to provide visibility of equipment already in the inventory, and Theater Provided Equipment Planner,
whereby the user can put information into a database so that a Life Cycle Management Commander can
provide instruction on what to do with a given piece of equipment. (Photo by SPC Maurice Galloway.)
NO MORE STEEL MOUNTAIN
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