|Planning Initial Reset for Brigade Combat Teams
|by Major Jason Tomasetti
Conducting initial reset of a brigade combat team (BCT) within 6 to 8 weeks of returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom can be critical to the rest of the brigade’s reset and reconstitution. By targeting initial capabilities for reset during the brigade’s block leave, the BCT can start unit equipment reset (including new equipment issue) and individual training relatively quickly.
Planning for the initial reset is necessary, and roles and responsibilities should be determined 4 to 6 months out so that coordination can start with rear detachments and home-station organizations. The BCT support operations office (SPO) or BCT S–4 will likely be the starting point for reset operations planning. The BCT must coordinate with its rear detachment, Army field support battalion (AFSBn), directorate of logistics (DOL), and division or post G–4 to determine how, where, and when equipment will be reset and what the brigade’s priorities are (specifically, in what order units and systems will be reset). Army Materiel Command brigade logistics support teams can aid this coordination if they are deployed with the BCT.
The target of the initial reset is debatable, but should include Standard Army Management Information Systems (STAMISs), individual night vision devices (NVDs), and individual weapons (to include M240 machineguns).
STAMISs include the Standard Army Maintenance System (SAMS), Standard Army Retail Supply System (SARSS), and Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) and are supported by the very small aperture terminal (VSAT), and Combat Service Support Automated Information Systems Interface (CAISI).
STAMIS reset allows units to reset unit-level equipment, order requirements to fill shortfalls, and track items sent for sustainment-level reset.
At a minimum, resetting STAMISs should include—
- Cleaning computer hardware internally and externally.
- Wiping hard drives and reimaging them with software and all updates.
- Loading home-station unit information, including unit identification codes and Department of Defense activity address codes.
- Inspecting and repairing VSATs and CAISIs.
- Conducting a STAMIS communication gunnery by setting up the satellite dishes and computers and ensuring all systems (including VSAT, CAISI, SAMS, SARSS, and PBUSE) can communicate with one another.
By resetting individual weapons and NVDs, units should be able to start individual training shortly after block leave while the unit equipment needed for unit- and collective-level training is being reset.
Reset for weapons and NVDs consists of conducting technical inspections, bringing equipment back to the –10 and –20 level, and turning in items that are deemed nonreparable.
When redeploying, units must carry back initial reset items as baggage to accompany troops. While individual weapons are easy to carry back, units might be inclined to ship back NVDs and STAMISs in unit containers, which can result in a 6-to-8-week wait. This will hinder the BCT’s initial reset operations. STAMIS laptops are easy to carry back, but strategic air support may be necessary to move the VSAT systems. Submitting this strategic air request early in the redeployment planning process
Having the right people in place to facilitate the initial reset is crucial, too. Battalions must appoint competent people to oversee reset while the rest of the battalion is on block leave. Key personnel include unit armorers to allow technical inspectors into arms rooms, a supply person to code out weapons or NVDs as needed, and STAMIS maintainers and operators to oversee the STAMIS reset. These people might not be readily available within the rear detachment, so rear-detachment commanders must identify candidates early on and send them to the proper training, such as the Army Armorer School, before units start to redeploy. For units still lacking the right expertise in certain areas, these initial reset facilitators are good candidates to include in the advanced redeployment party.
Tracking the progress of reset falls on the shoulders of the BCT SPO and S–4 and the AFSBn. Tracking mechanisms must be in place to ensure that all the equipment is reset but is not inspected more times than necessary. These mechanisms must be established early in the planning process to ensure that the proper data are collected and used to keep the battalion- and brigade-level leaders informed of reset progress. Adequately showing this progress to the brigade’s leaders will instill confidence in the reset process, making reset easier once all the deployed equipment returns to home station.
Major Jason Tomasetti is the support operations chief for the Logistics Management Branch of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Communication and Information Systems Services Agency, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium. He served as the support operations officer for the 2d Brigade Support Battalion, 2d Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2d Infantry Division, during Operation Iraqi Freedom 06–08. He holds a master’s degree in military arts and sciences from the Army Command and General Staff College.