***image1***The 21st Theater Support Command’s 200th Materiel Management Center ensured preparations for the 60th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, went smoothly by providing arrangements for entertainment, food and living quarters.
Many of the 2,000 event participants anticipated their time on deployment to be less than luxurious.
“Usually when Soldiers are out in the field, they encounter tents, cold showers and long lines for their food,” said Maj. Scott Gibson, 7th Army Training Command, Grafenwoehr, media relations officer for the D-Day celebration.
The Life Support Areas set up by the 200th MMC offer much more than a place to sleep. The LSAs also provide laundry services, hot showers, indoor restrooms, Army and Air Force Exchange Services, three hot meals every day and Morale Welfare and Recreation rooms complete with big-screen televisions, telephone booths, card tables, video games and movies.
“The facilities here are absolutely top-notch and bring a definite boost to the already high morale of those here,” said Major Gibson.
The 200th MMC also arranged for facilities and buildings for the force protection and media personnel.
Additionally, they anticipated the arrival of some 20,000 participants to the D-Day anniversary commemoration and coordinated the movements of their supportive personnel amidst the hustle and bustle.
The 200th MMC faced a sizable logistical mission. However, after five months of planning and a month before the D-Day anniversary, the 200th MMC moved to the outskirts of Utah Beach and Omaha Beach and turned a farmer’s corn fields into operation centers — ops centers that would house and support those preparing for the ceremonies which would host both President George Bush and French President Jacques Chirac.
The hard work was just part of the story, some Soldiers also had personal reasons for attending.
Maj. Joel Johnston, executive officer of the 200th MMC’s Task Force 60 LOG said, “My grandfather served in both world wars. Although this is a lot of work, I feel that I’m honoring all of the men who sacrificed their lives here; I’m paying my respects.”