Logistical Operations Center enhances information flow

Master Sgt. Sue Harper
21st Theater Support Command

***image1***Soldiers live or die, succeed or fail based on how well logistics does its mission, and logistics missions live or die, succeed or fail based in part on how well information flows.
Although information flow has never been a problem for the 21st Theater Support Command, the Logistical Operations Center has now enhanced information flow making it even faster and more efficient. The ability to provide information that has been verified improves theater distribution, force tracking and overall mission accomplishment.
“We track anything that’s taking place in the theater that the 21st TSC is responsible for executing or has a part in executing,” said Lt. Col. Maria Gervais, 21st TSC chief of operations.
She also stated that one of the center’s primary functions is to maintain situational awareness in order to provide the 21st TSC’s Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Bennie E. Williams, with up-to-date information on all missions, equipment and personnel movements, deployments and daily operations so that he can make timely and informed decisions at decisive times during execution to ensure mission success.
Tracking thousands of pieces of equipment and hundreds of Soldiers engaged in diverse operations and missions on a daily basis is much easier and more efficient with the newly designed and improved center. The LOC evolved from a standard emergency operations center layout to its current state of the art design capable of serving as the logistical-nerve-center for the command during the summer of 2003, she said.
The LOC re-design reconfigured everything from automations systems to the seating arrangements to facilitate coordination, information exchange and staff integration.
Colonel Gervais emphasized that it’s the center’s personnel, an integrated battle staff, not structural changes that account for the cleaner, faster information flow currently taking place.
“The LOC is now the focal point for all current operations taking place within the command. We have battle staff representatives from throughout the 21st TSC staff and liaison officers from subordinate units and outside agencies such as the Surface Distribution Deploy-ment Command in the center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Easch plays a vital role in tracking all of these missions and keeping the commanding general informed.”
One of the things the commanding general must stay on top of is force protection. Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Bailey, the rear operations force protection NCO in charge, is one of many who keep the commanding general informed on his force protection issues and ensures that units involved in all 21st TSC operations, missions and exercises are up to date on force protection guidance.
“We ensure all the sites involved with redeploying (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Kosovo Peace Keeping Force) Soldiers are current on all force protection measures,” he said.
Whether it’s force protection or keeping accountability of roughly 500 Soldiers daily, the Logistical Operations Center serves as the command focal point for acquiring feedback and setting direction for Soldiers, equipment and systems.