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LSA Anaconda’s Forward Redistribution Point

Operating the Logistics Support Area (LSA) Anaconda Forward Redistribution Point (FRP) was the primary mission of the 400th Quartermaster (QM) Company during its Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment. The 400th QM Company, which falls under the Army Reserve’s 81st Regional Readiness Command and is based in Maysville, Kentucky, was one of eight companies within Logistics Task Force 548.

The FRP serves as an intermediary, multiclass serviceable excess storage and redistribution point between outlying forward operating bases and the theater distribution center in Kuwait. The purpose of the FRP is twofold: convoy mitigation and reduction of customer wait time.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom 1, units sent excess supplies to the theater distribution center in Kuwait. In April 2004, the 13th Corps Support Command noted that excess supplies were leaving Iraq and entering Kuwait, only to be turned around and used to fill a requisition for another supply support activity (SSA) in Iraq. Implementing the FRP in July 2004 reduced the flow of serviceable excess retrograding south and allowed customer SSAs to get needed supplies faster.

Concept of FRP Operations

Centrally located in Balad, Iraq, the FRP receives serviceable excess equipment turned in by SSAs and forward operating bases in northern and central Iraq. When an SSA submits a requisition, the Standard Army Retail Supply System (SARSS) automatically checks the on-hand balance of the FRP before searching the theater distribution center in Kuwait and depots in Germany and the continental United States. If the needed materiel is in stock at the FRP, the unit that placed the requisition receives the materiel faster and Soldiers and contractors are not required to drive on Iraq’s dangerous main supply routes to transport the items from Kuwait to Iraq.

The concept of the operation is simple. Excess materiel turned in by a traditional SSA goes directly to the FRP. The excess class II (clothing and individual equipment), IIIP (packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants), IV (construction and barrier materials), and IX (repair parts) materiel is processed and stored as one of the FRP’s 14,400 retention lines. The need for the lines is determined by an annual retention analysis based on demands in the Iraqi theater. The on-hand balance of materiel and the amount maintained of each particular class are determined strictly by what supported SSAs turn in as excess. The FRP stores mostly class IX (which make up 75 percent of the total lines with on-hand balances). This is followed by class II (18 percent), class IIIP (5 percent), and class IV (2 percent). The materiel is stored until requisitions are received from SSAs that need it for their supported units.

Materiel release orders (MROs) are received eight times daily from the 321st Theater Materiel Management Center’s Corps/Theater Automated Data Processing Service Center (CTASC) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Once referrals are printed, supplies are pulled and shipped to customer SSAs throughout Iraq. The footprint of shipments covers the entire battlefield, supporting 23 of the 25 SSAs in Iraq.

Challenges

Even though the concept is simple, the operation faces challenges. Most of the excess received (both new and used) is properly marked with paperwork and shipped according to Army standards. However, up to a third of the materiel arriving at the FRP is frustrated cargo or supplies shipped directly from units without paperwork or proper blocking and bracing. This materiel has to be identified before it can be reissued. The materiel is inspected first to determine its serviceability. If it is deemed serviceable, the FRP conducts research to determine the item’s national stock number (NSN) before it can be processed in SARSS–1. All materiel must be processed in SARSS–1 and reported to SARSS–2A before the CTASC can gain visibility of it.

To address growing concerns about improperly shipped materiel, the 400th QM Company, Logistics Task Force 548, and the 3d Corps Support Command drafted a theater-wide fragmentary order addressing shipping standards for SSAs in the Multi-National Corps-Iraq area of operations. Although the situation improved, the FRP continues to receive unserviceable materiel. The condemned, unserviceable materiel (condition code H) is sorted and forwarded to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office. Materiel that is unserviceable but possibly reparable (condition code F) and materiel that does not have a traditional stock number is forwarded to the serviceable/unserviceable yard in Arifjan, Kuwait.

Daily Operations

The FRP is divided into four sections. The receiving section faces the everyday challenge of sorting serviceable materiel from unserviceable, identifying the NSNs of materiel that arrives without paperwork, and identifying frustrated cargo that needs to be forwarded to other units. On average, the FRP receiving section processes 1,200 receipts daily. Despite all these responsibilities, the 400th QM Company receiving section was able to reduce the 210 463L pallets and 185 containers of backlog to a zero balance in January 2006.

The storage section is responsible for over 7,400 lines valued at $25 million. Because of the high turnover of different items, the storage section must conduct detailed location maintenance, surveys, and location add/delete discipline while pulling an average of 700 MROs daily.

The shipping section pushes an average of 1,100 MROs daily (both referrals to customers and excess materiel to Kuwait). Once an MRO is received from the CTASC, the shipping section has the item ready for shipment in 24 to 36 hours. This is no easy achievement, considering all the steps required before an item is shipped. The item must be secured and placarded with the SSA’s Department of Defense Activity Address Code, and, most important, the radio frequency in-transit visibility (RFITV) team has to write a level-six RF tag that is attached to the load.

The stock control section is responsible for managing the warehouse and stock record receipt, storage, distribution, and issue functions and maintaining equipment records and parts. Job responsibilities include posting receipts and turn-ins, preparing accounting and supply reports, conducting visual inspections, and processing surveys and inventories.

Within the four sections are specialty teams, such as the Container Management Support Tool team, container processing team, frustrated/research team, unknown team, quality assurance/quality control team, and RFITV team. The RFITV team is one of the most important teams within the entire operation. A level-six detailed RF tag consists of the referral document number, NSN, item nomenclature, quantity, consignee, and consigner. The purpose of an RF tag is intratheater visibility. Once the referral is shipped, the customer can log onto the RFITV site and type in the referral document number to view the last “pinged” location of that tag. This technology gives customers an added sense of security that the needed materiel is en route to their locations.

Although the 400th QM Company did most of the heavy lifting during daily operations while it ran the FRP, they could not have done it alone. They worked with the 21st Cargo Transfer Company, which operated materials-handling equipment and built air sustainment pallets for onward movement to customers. Kellogg, Brown, and Root contractors also provided augmentation in all sections. Today, the FRP is a collaborative effort that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to distribute needed supplies throughout Iraq and Kuwait.

The FRP saves lives, both directly and indirectly. Directly, it reduces the number of Soldiers and civilians driving on main supply routes to deliver sustainment to Iraq from Kuwait. In fact, from October 2005 though July 2006, the FRP prevented an estimated $150 million ($125 million in referrals shipped and $25 million stored) of excess retrograde from leaving Iraq. Indirectly, it provides units sustainment faster to ensure mission readiness. In 2006, class IX requisition wait time within Iraq was reduced to an all-time low of 12 days—40 percent below the Army standard of 20 days. The decrease in requisition wait time can be attributed partly to the success of the FRP.
ALOG

First Lieutenant Theodore C. Mataxis III, USAR, is the Executive Officer of the 824th Quartermaster Company (Aerial Delivery) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05–07, he served as the Accountable Officer for the forward redistribution point located at Logistics Support Area Anaconda. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from North Carolina Central University. He is a graduate of the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, the Airborne School, and the Parachute Rigger School.