21st TSC-Italy’s support limitless

Story and photo by Capt. Greg Jones
21st TSC Public Affairs

LIVORNO AND VICENZA, Italy ― Those who believe that “life moves a little slower south of the Alps” might change their minds if they spend a few minutes with the Soldiers and civilians of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command based in Italy.

Informally known collectively as 21st TSC-Italy, Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, two platoons of the 18th Military Police Brigade, the 16th Sustainment Brigade’s 39th Movement Control Battalion, the 1st Human Resources Center and other small elements of the 21st TSC provide a variety of services to joint, multinational and even inter-agency efforts.

From basic community law enforcement, to depot level repair and re-use efforts, to complex full spectrum movement control and tracking, the variety of capabilities employed by 21st TSC-I run the gamut of sustainment services.

The 3rd Bn. 405th AFSB, located in Livorno, Italy, provides a variety of direct support focusing primarily on vehicle, supplies and equipment storage, repairs and re-use. Under the Left Behind Equipment program, the battalion stores and maintains vehicles and equipment assigned to deployed units who have opted not to take the equipment with them on deployment based on their mission downrange. The battalion also regularly assists with pre-positioned stocks of supplies, and more importantly, entire sets of deployable equipment. Under these programs, the battalion provides much more than just a place to store the equipment. They must keep all of the equipment in full operational condition all of the time as it may be called into operation at any moment with little or no warning.

The battalion has space and facilities to also support other prepositioning, and transfer operations. Another unique function of this battalion is its direct support to Humanitarian Assistance operations. Whether simply providing warehouse space for HA organizations or helping with the acquisition and transport of HA supplies, the battalion has assisted with a number of recent HA missions, including efforts in Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine, as well as elsewhere in the 21st TSC area of responsibility.

The battalion is headquartered by a small core of active duty service members and U.S. civilian employees who oversee the operations of a primarily local national workforce of experts in mechanical repairs, transport operations and all of the many other functions required to keep the battalion running day to day. The ultimate hallmark of the battalion is its flexibility and willingness to support any variety of requests within its capabilities.

“Give us the mission, and we’ll analyze it and see if we can do it for you,” said Lt. Col. Rick Pierce, the battalion’s commander. “If we can do it, we will do it right!”

The 39th Movement Control Battalion, in Vicenza, Italy, provides movement control services to the U.S. Army in Africa, and a wide variety of other organizations operating within their area. They manage, control and track movements of cargo through the area of operations using the latest technology to ensure shipments get where they need to, on time. The Soldiers of the 39th MCT serve not only as the managers of the movement of cargo, but also as a liaison of sorts between the organization whose cargo is being moved, and the various agencies doing the transport.

The 1st HRSC runs the U.S. Army in Europe gateway at the airport in Venice, Italy, by receiving, processing and assisting all Soldiers arriving there on permanent change of station orders. The Soldiers of the 1st HRSC ensure that when Soldiers arrive they are met immediately by military personnel who are there to assist through every step of the process. Much more than just a ride from the airport, these Soldiers are the problem solvers for families facing the challenges of a trans-Atlantic PCS.

The 18th MP Bde. has two platoons serving 21st TSC-Italy, one each in Vicenza and Livorno. They provide community law enforcement services to the U.S. Army communities in those areas. Because of the significant geographical separation from other large concentrations of U.S. facilities, the force protection and community law enforcement tasks these two platoons perform are of vital importance to these small communities, according to the 21st TSC commanding general, Brig. Gen. Aundre Piggee, who recently visited the 21st TSC-Italy units.

Piggee also commented on the close sense of family in these two small communities south of the Alps, who perform such a vital function for so many in Europe.

“This appears to be a very tight-knit community,” Piggee said. “I think that’s one of the reasons (they) are able to do so much down here.”