By the time the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division is
dismantled and its Soldiers reassigned, the equipment and vehicles left
behind will already be in the hands of other units training for combat.
The 21st Theater Support Command’s 200th Materiel Management Center, in
an operation dubbed Task Force Vilseck, is taking equipment from the
3rd BCT and distributing it to fill needs of deploying U.S. Army,
“The Army is transitioning this brigade from a heavy brigade to a
Stryker brigade, which has a very different mix of equipment,”
explained Maj. Daniel Coakley, the task force maintenance
officer. “We are the theater’s materiel managers and have been
tasked to (downsize) this brigade.”
These changes are part of the Department of Defense’s overall
transformation plan that calls for stationing a Stryker Brigade Combat
Team in Vilseck, Germany, after 1st ID’s 3rd BCT, now stationed there,
completes its drawdown in fiscal year 2006.
The task force is providing a full spectrum of support. Since May, Task
Force Vilseck has transferred roughly 70 percent of the 41,000-plus
pieces of the equipment, Maj. Coakley said.
“We are either going to distribute it to deploying units or repair it and send it on to other units as they need it,” he said.
Forty-two active duty and Reserve Component 200th MMC Soldiers
are supervising the storage, maintenance, and distribution of equipment
in Vilseck and Bamberg, Germany with the help of approximately 200
civilian contractors. The task force expects to have completed the
drawdown by early November.
“With so many pieces of equipment and property book line items,
ensuring that all of it is properly accounted for and turned in is a
must,” said Master Sgt. Harold Head, who is overseeing storage
operations at both the Supply Support Activity and airfield in Vilseck.
The items include everything the 3rd BCT owned, ranging from tanks and
tents to Humvees and heaters. Taking them off their hands now
will allow the 3rd BCT Soldiers to concentrate on their reassignments,
Sergeant Head said.
“While they are preparing to return to the States, we are making that
process easier by what we are doing here,” said Sergeant Head.
Approximately 2,900 Soldiers and 3,990 family members will be directly
affected by the brigade’s drawdown, according to USAREUR. Six civilians
employees work directly for the tactical units of 3rd Brigade Combat
The incoming Stryker Brigade will be eventually manned with about 3,900
soldiers, as well as about 20 Department of the Army civilian employees
and 100 contractors.