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In With the Old—
Out With the Reconditioned

The USACAPOC (A) mission support team reconstitutes battle-fatigued equipment to help ensure that Soldiers have what they need for the fight.

After the tragic attacks on our Nation on 11 September 2001, the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) [USACAPOC (A)] underwent the largest mobilization of Reserve civil affairs (CA) and psychological operations (PSYOP) forces in the command’s 15-year history. Since 9/11, USACAPOC (A) has mobilized approximately 12,000 personnel and corresponding amounts of equipment to support operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. USACAPOC (A) provides the mobilized Reserve CA and PSYOP forces, which amount to 96 percent of the Army’s total CA and PSYOP forces.

Equipment readiness is paramount to Soldier success. The high operating tempo and the harsh climate in Southwest Asia have taken a heavy toll on the equipment used there. Operational fleets are aging at a rate four times greater than anticipated. To better support the high demand for ready equipment, USACAPOC (A) collaborated with the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) to establish the USACAPOC (A) reconstitution program at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Originally operating from three temporary facilities, the USACAPOC (A) reconstitution program moved to a 5,000-square-foot equipment reconstitution site in October 2005. This facility is the only one of its kind in the Army Reserve.

 

Mission Support Team

The 10-person mission support team (MST) that runs the reconstitution site has three main missions: maintenance, supply, and transportation. It is responsible for reconditioning vehicles, accounting for sensitive items, and coordinating the recalibration of both weapons and radios with other agencies on the installation. The MST is essential in reversing the effects of combat stress on equipment before it is deployed again.

“Our team can do a wide variety of things, including first and second shop maintenance items like replacing humvee [high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicle] windshields, batteries, tires, and CV [constant velocity] joints,” said Major Terry Wescott, the MST officer in charge at the reconstitution site. “They are also responsible for ordering, cataloguing, and maintaining replacement parts listed on the prescribed load list.”

The MST also prepares pallets that are used in transporting the equipment either back to the units’ home stations or overseas for deployment. The reconstitution site as a whole serves as USACAPOC (A)’s program manager for the reset and recapitalization programs.

Reset and Recapitalization

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. With USACAPOC (A), vehicles are reset at an assigned Army depot. A vehicle of the same model is returned to USACAPOC (A); however, it may not be exactly the same vehicle. The base model remains the same, but the serial number may change.

The recapitalization program, on the other hand, is a Department of the Army program that removes damage and stress incurred during deployment (in some cases restoring it to 0 miles or 0 hours) to 17 specific systems. For example, the program assists Army units in meeting armored vehicle demands by converting M998, M998A1, and M1038 model humvees into M1097R1 model humvees. The engine, transmission, and suspension of each vehicle are upgraded to base model M1097 (heavy variant). This model can serve as an armored platform without degrading the mobility or carrying capacity of the vehicle. Other systems also are checked and repaired, and each vehicle receives a new data plate and new serial number.

 

Mobilization Station for USACAPOC (A) Units

On 13 December 2002, the Army Forces Command identified Fort Bragg as the single mobilization station for all USACAPOC (A) units. Locating the reconstitution site on a major installation enables USACAPOC (A) to take an active role in refurbishing their gear and decreases turnaround time for equipment processing.

By comparison, most USARC units typically return vehicles and equipment for reconstitution to the installation that is home to the maneuver element they were attached to while deployed, which could be several states away from the Reserve unit’s geographic home station. “We’ve been doing this for 3 years,” said Sergeant Roger Adkins, MST shop foreman. “Our team bonds well, and you can see it in our finished products. Whether the equipment is going back to the unit or down range, we know it’s in good condition and will meet the mark for the Soldiers to either train or fight.”

Program Results

Since USACAPOC (A) first deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in January 2003, the following reset, recapitalization, and reconstitution actions have been taken—

  • Reset. The MST has processed 88 vehicles and 10 generators through its reset program. Reset repairs are performed at the directorate of logistics or depot level. (The vehicles have been reset and returned to their units, and the generators are awaiting processing at the depot.)
  • Recapitalization. More than 420 pieces have been submitted to the recapitalization program.
  • Reconstitution. The MST reconstituted more than 960 pieces of redeployed rolling stock and 10,600 pieces of nonrolling stock, most of which came from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The success of the reconstitution site has been essential to unit readiness.

The “old” equipment—the reconditioned equipment that they take with them when they deploy—serves USACAPOC (A) Soldiers well. The reset and recapitalization programs are key to bringing the state of the equipment back to acceptable condition, but the reconditioning of equipment at the reconstitution site is the backbone of USACAPOC (A)’s preparation of equipment for future operations.
ALOG

Tina M. Beller is a public affairs specialist for the Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She is a graduate of the Defense Information School, the Basic Photojournalism Course, and the Public Affairs Officer Qualification Course.

Paul D. Prince is a Department of the Army intern with the Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Grambling State University.