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Reset: Extending the Life of Army Equipment

The Reset program administered by the Army Tank-automotive
and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command is designed
to reverse the effects of combat stress on equipment.

Major combat and stability operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are placing tremendous demands on Army equipment. Amid the constant demands of war, the equipment is aging far more rapidly than projected. Because of the higher operating tempo, rough desert environments, and limited maintenance available in theater, operational fleets are aging 4 years for every year in theater, dramatically shortening their expected useful life. To maintain their operational effectiveness and be prepared to deploy when needed, units must ensure that their equipment is returned to optimal condition, or “reset,” after they redeploy from a combat or stability operation. The Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC) is responsible for overseeing the Reset process for Soldier and ground systems in its portfolio.

What is Reset?

“Reset” is a generic term that represents a series of actions taken to restore units to a desired level of combat capability commensurate with mission requirements and available resources. Reset actually encompasses one of the following as determined by a Reset assessment team in a screening process conducted in conjunction with the unit or, in the case of recapitalization, at the discretion of the program executive officer or program manager—

• Replace. Procure new equipment to replace battle losses and washouts from the repair process.
• Recapitalize. Restore equipment’s useful life (in some cases to 0 miles or 0 hours) and remove damage and stress incurred during deployment.
• Reset (national level). Work is performed to correct equipment faults that are above the field level. It may be performed by a directorate of logistics, contractors, or the Army’s industrial base.
• Reconstitution (field level). Reconstitution is work performed to correct equipment faults at the field level. It may be performed by Soldiers or augmented by contractors as required.

Who Makes Reset Happen?

Resetting units is not a one-time event. It is required for all redeploying units. Everyone in the TACOM LCMC—depots, arsenals, original equipment manufacturers, and suppliers—is fully engaged in the Army Reset effort. The Army’s depot capability and efforts to partner with industry are critical to this undertaking. General Dynamics, United Defense, Oshkosh, Caterpillar, Stewart & Stevenson, and AM General all have Reset contracts in place.

The Army is attempting to fully exploit this window of opportunity presented by the requirement to Reset redeploying units. The TACOM LCMC-is using the Reset requirement as an opportunity to enhance equipment configurations rather than returning them to their legacy designs. While a weapon system is undergoing Reset, the latest safety and technological enhancements are installed to improve warfighter survivability and provide a better-performing platform than was originally deployed.

How Does Reset Work?

To succeed in this difficult mission, the TACOM Integrated Logistics Support Center established the Reset and Modularity Integration Directorate to provide specific TACOM LCMC Reset and modularity program emphasis. The directorate’s mission is to provide a “support level of effort to meet the Army requirement to return the force to fully ready status.” It is structured to provide each redeploying Army division with a dedicated Reset manager whose mission is to facilitate the Reset of a redeployed unit’s equipment within 180 days of its return to home station. The division Reset manager is complemented by a full-time Reset liaison officer on the ground with the division who provides on-site approval and guidance for the industrial Reset of TACOM LCMC equipment. The Reset liaison officer also assists with coordinating and monitoring the Reset of that equipment within the unit’s guidelines.

The TACOM LCMC Reset Program is designed to reverse the effects of combat stress on equipment. The current time standard for Active and Reserve component Reset is 6 and 12 months, respectively. Through a focused effort, Reset processes are becoming considerably more efficient in terms of both time and resources.

Reset Accomplishments

Over 8,200 TACOM LCMC-managed weapon systems and vehicles had to be Reset in 2005. As of 1 November, TACOM LCMC Reset Sustainment Base Program completions included 527 tracked vehicles, 1,547 wheeled vehicles, 476 pieces of construction materials-handling equipment, 212 Soldier support items, 91 towed howitzers, 558 pieces of chemical defense equipment and 4,841 small arms. TACOM LCMC also has put teams forward in the unit areas to provide technical assistance in everything from inspecting small arms to repairing howitzers as part of the units’ local reconstitution efforts.

Lessons Learned

The Army is implementing lessons from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and operations in the Balkans to refine and improve its Reset efforts. Here are the top five lessons learned—

• A single, well-defined reconstitution standard is needed for each type of equipment. Such standards are already in place for national-level Reset.
• Only through an appropriately funded Reset program can the Army extend the life of the operational fleet so that it is ready to support and sustain protracted conflict.
• It is critical that units identify equipment requiring national-level Reset before they redeploy to allow for direct shipment of the Reset assets to the industrial base.
• To permit direct shipment to Reset facilities, Reset assets must have separate unit line numbers and must not have secondary loads.
• Units must rapidly account for equipment and get it introduced into the local reconstitution program to meet their training and readiness timelines.

TACOM LCMC’s logistics effort must continue to support combat operations in Southwest Asia, ensuring maximum logistics continuity in the conduct of combat operations while continuing Reset activities to complete responsive restoration of redeploying Army forces. Resetting the force reflects how TACOM LCMC helps prepare units for upcoming training and deployments, while positioning the Army to be more responsive to emerging threats and contingencies. All of the Reset lessons will apply to the Army force-generating model that the modular force structure will require. TACOM LCMC is fully committed to staying at the forefront of this effort. For more information, contact the TACOM LCMC Reset office at reset@tacom.army.mil.

Major General William M. (Mike) Lenaers is the Commander of the Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC). Previously, he was the Chief of Ordnance and the Commander of the 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood, Texas. He has an M.S. degree in oceanography from Oregon State University.

Major Brent D. Coryell is the Aide to the Commanding General of the TACOM LCMC. He has an M.S. degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology and is a graduate of the Logistics Executive Development Course.