VICENZA, Italy -- Members of the 414th Contracting Support Brigade hosted a gathering of Army sustainment professionals April 11-18 in Padova, Italy, and Dakar, Senegal. The assembled participants discussed how to deliver troops and supplies to Africa in support of contingency operations.
“A minute talking logistics is never a minute wasted,” said Col. Scott Shore, 79th Theater Sustainment Support Operations division chief. “We spent a lot of minutes talking about logistics, specifically contracting challenges on the African Continent.”
The 414th CSB kicked off the summit with a thorough run-down of contracting options and considerations for providing life-support and sustainment capabilities in Africa.
“What made this so special is the combination of getting ideas on how the 414th and 79th can partner to bring special solutions to (U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa’s) unique problem set in Africa,” Shore said. “Africa is a difficult operating environment and we are responsible for a large area with few resources. The 414th's approach in having (contracting) professionals in the room with the 79th and the customer, SETAF-AF, made for a powerful approach to leveraging the LOGCAP program for exercises and for contingency operations.”
Following the discussion on contracting considerations, the 79th Theater Sustainment Command led the group through a scenario exercise to identify requirements for providing that support in a country where the U.S. does not have an existing contingency site location (CSL) established.
“We had a scenario in Padova where we discussed the contracting solutions that 79th TSC would need to rely upon to support a joint task force (deploying to Africa),” said Maj. Justin M. Berry, lead contracting officer in the 414th CSB Regional Contracting Office-Africa.
“This helped to develop the problem statement that 79th TSC will use” during a larger exercise next month, Berry said.
To get a clearer picture of operating conditions troops in Africa could face, more than 30 of the participants traveled to Dakar, Senegal, to tour a nearby CSL.
“(The trip to Senegal) provided all the stakeholders shared situational understanding of all the components required to establish, maintain and then operationalize CSL Dakar,” said Col. Douglas A. LeVien, director, SETAF-AF G4 logistics directorate.
A CSL is a modest facility strategically located so that the U.S. military can efficiently establish a base of operations when required. The requirements for a CSL depend on many factors including the size of the region they support and the kinds of military activities they will support, from humanitarian assistance and disaster response to counter-violent extremist operations. The number and locations of CSLs in Africa changes depending on requirements.
“By bringing all our sustainment partners together we were able to clarify expectations and improve our communications with each other in order to enhance our responsiveness, create options for commanders and accelerate the readiness of units to respond to AFRICOM exercises or contingency operations on short notice,” LeVien said.
U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) is responsible for achieving U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Campaign Plan objectives while conducting all U.S. Army operations, exercises and security cooperation on the African continent. The 79th Theater Sustainment Command (Forward) provides mission command and operational-level sustainment support to SETAF-AF and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The 414th CSB’s mission is to provide direct contracting support to EUCOM, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, SETAF-AF and supporting units in the Vicenza and Darby military communities.