By Lt. Col. Matthew Rousseau and Maj. Michael Nastari,
Army Reserve Sustainment Command, LOGCAP Support Brigade
The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Support Brigade (LOGCAP) was tasked to help stop the spread of COVID-19 based on its contracting oversight skills and technical expertise in logistics. Within a short time from its initial notification, a large portion of LOGCAP Support Brigade (LSB) mobilized and deployed to over a dozen states inside the U.S. and various locations abroad.
The LSB is a subordinate command under the U.S. Army Reserve Sustainment Command located in Birmingham, Alabama. The ARSC is the Reserve’s premier organization in delivering global materiel readiness, contracting, acquisition, and LOGCAP capability in support of the warfighter.
The LSB is the only unit of its type in the Army and has had units continuously deployed since 2007 in support of operations in the U.S. Central Command in Southwest Asia. Since April 2020, it has continued to provide support to the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) supporting the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the operation initially known as Operation Warp Speed (OWS) by providing AMC with LOGCAP professionals, also known as LCPs, trained in LOGCAP performance-based contract management.
Most recently, the LSB had over 20 LCPs mobilized in support of the operation formerly known as OWS and supports the U.S. Army Sustainment Command (ASC) and LOGCAP Program Management Office at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.
“Soldiers of the LSB continuously support CONUS and OCONUS operations. The battalions are always either deploying, mobilizing or preparing. The Soldiers of the LSB are true professionals and remain trained and ready to support worldwide operations at a moment’s notice,” said Col. Michael Clark, LSB commander. “As the only LSB in the entire Army, our unit remains engaged in all aspects of LOGCAP activities.”
The LSB’s current mobilization is its first CONUS-based mobilization since its inception as a brigade. Initially, the mobilization consisted of over 70 Soldiers comprised of the LSB headquarters and LOGCAP Support Battalions, or LSBns. LCPs came from 1st and 2nd LSBns at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the 4th LSBn at Statham, Georgia, and the 5th LSBn at Sheffield, Alabama. Originally mobilized last year to assist ASC, Army Field Support Brigades (AFSB) to establish quarantine centers at CONUS-based installations. The LSB mission changed shortly after arriving at Rock Island Arsenal (RIA). It was re-missioned to assist ASC with quality assurance of household goods due to COVID impacts and LOGCAP IV to V transition activities to successfully transfer base support services between performance contractors at multiple CONUS and OCONUS locations.
LCPs received extensive post mobilization training from the ASC, Army Personal Property Lead Element for the quality assurance of household goods and the LOGCAP PMO for the LOGCAP IV to V transition. Training included both classroom briefings and a mock-site assessment.
LOGCAP PMO training served as refresher training for the Soldiers who had previously attended the ARSC’s Contracting Operational Readiness Exercise (CORE) at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, in January 2020 as certification training for deploying LOGCAP Soldiers. The CORE is an extensive training event that validates LOGCAP professionals and other Soldiers preparing to deploy within the next year.
CORE also validates Soldiers on weapons qualification, land navigation, physical fitness and MOS specific skills. As a result, LCPs were prepared to perform required duties at their sites.
From June through September 2020, quality assurance of household goods involved clearing a backlog of postponed inspections for permanent change of station moves due to the onset of the Coronavirus. During this time, over 20 LCPs worked under the supervision of the 402nd, 404th, 406th, and 407th AFSB and ASC’s Logistical Readiness Centers and completed over 5,000 inspections.
Inspections involved coordinating activities between military service members and contracted moving services, along with supervision of logistical activities of inventory, loading, unloading and final approval. Some of the locations included Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Members from the team also served in Hawaii, Korea and Alaska.
Concurrent to quality assurance of household goods, around a dozen LCPs assisted the U.S. Army Contracting Command and LOGCAP PMO with various LOGCAP IV to V transition activities. During this time, LCPs worked directly with the Combatant Command service branch chiefs in the LOGCAP PMO to oversee the transition of property books between performance contractors.
Supporting this time-phased transition, one LCP forward-mobilized to the 405th AFSB in the U.S. European Command theater and oversaw the transition of the property book between vendors at site locations in the EUCOM area of operations, while another LCP forward-mobilized to the National Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, to oversee that property book transition.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Luchsinger and I are extremely proud for how fast and responsive the team reacted when initially called upon to defeat COVID-19 and how smoothly the LSB integrated into the ASC operations,” said Brig. Gen. Donald Absher, ARSC’s commanding general.
LSB Soldiers mobilized in support of COVID were awarded the Armed Forces Service Medal and LSB Soldiers mobilized in support of former operation known as OWS received the Humanitarian Service Medal. Many Soldiers were recognized with individual awards including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.
“Our Soldiers have performed professionally and with distinction. During these two mobilizations our Soldiers have been recognized at many levels for their high quality work. I am extremely proud of them,” said LSB Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Arndt.
The LSB offers broadening assignments opportunities in logistics and branch immaterial positions available to officers and noncommissioned officers at its headquarters at RIA, along with its five battalions at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Statham, Georgia, and Birmingham and Sheffield, Alabama.
The LSB is an operational unit with deployment, mobilization and Active Duty Operational Support tour opportunities. LCPs utilize education, skills and civilian experience to interact with military, government and private sector stakeholders in different settings towards accomplishing different goals. Soldiers interested in joining the LSB can contact the brigade headquarters at 309-782-4655 or visit the LSB’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LogcapSupportBrigade