by Chief Warrant Officer (W-4) Michael E. Toter and Chief Warrant Officer (W-4) James M. Townsend
The 10th Mountain Division developed split accounting procedures to maintain accountability of deployed and nondeployed assets. The authors describe the procedures that were used during their deployment to Bosnia.
As units from the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York, deployed to Bosnia in fiscal year 1999, the division property book office (DPBO) had to make many things happen to ensure that there was no lapse of property accountability or reporting requirements. The challenge came when units at company level split, with only a part of the company going to Bosnia and taking only a portion of the company's equipment. Following are the basic steps used by the DPBO for continuous, 100-percent property accountability from deployment to Bosnia to redeployment to Fort Drum.
Eight Steps for Deployment
Step 1-Identify the units deploying. For the 10th Mountain Division, elements from 63 of the division's 107 units were deploying.
Step 2-Request the derivative unit identification codes (D_UIC's). The DPBO required D-UIC's and Department of Defense activity address codes (DODAAC's) for the deploying element of each unit. The property book teams then loaded a new header in their Standard Property Book System-Redesign (SPBS-R) computer systems for each unit deploying to Bosnia.
Step 3-Determine the equipment to be deployed. Once a unit was identified, the unit commander decided which equipment on his primary hand receipt (PHR) was needed for Bosnia. He used the authorization document established for Bosnia and any additional equipment approved by the division G4 as the basis of his decision.
Step 4-Prepare the lateral transfer documents. The deploying unit's supply sergeant prepared a Department of the Army (DA) Form 3161, Request for Issue and Turn-In, to laterally transfer the equipment to Bosnia. The deploying commander used his PHR to verify the accuracy of serial numbers, quantities, and nomenclature on the DA Form 3161. Accuracy of the DA Form 3161 was very important because its information eventually became the Bosnia portion of the unit's split PHR.
Step 5-Appoint a rear detachment commander. At this time, the rear detachment commander was appointed in writing. Since the unit going forward now had a D-UIC, both the forward and the rear detachment commanders needed new appointment orders. The DPBO received copies of the rear detachment commander's orders and DA Form 1687, Delegation of Authority Card.
Step 6-Complete a change-of-command inventory. If possible, the equipment to be deployed was separated from the equipment that would remain with the rear detachment. The rear detachment commander then completed a 100-percent physical inventory of the equipment remaining at Fort Drum in the same manner as a change-of-command inventory. For the purposes of the division property book, the rear detachment commander became the commander of the unit when he assumed command and signed the rear detachment SPBS-R hand receipt.
Step 7-Complete the lateral transfers. The DA Form 3161 listing the equipment for deployment then was processed as a lateral transfer to the unit's D-UIC. As far as the division property book was concerned, there were two units with two commandersessentially a split hand receipt. During this process at Fort Drum, a property book under the SPBS-R system was established in Bosnia. This system in Bosnia was loaded with unit headers that matched the derivative task force UIC's and DODAAC's established at Fort Drum.
Step 8-Transfer property from Fort Drum to Bosnia. As each unit deployed, the unit reported to the DPBO and received a ZRF (Unit Transfer Request) on disk and a hard copy of the unit's PHR. The property book team also kept a copy of the ZRF. Upon the unit's arrival in Bosnia, the forward commander gave the disc containing the ZRF to the Bosnia PBO. The Bosnia PBO loaded the ZRF into the property book and printed a copy of the commander's PHR. The commander compared this PHR with the PHR from the DPBO at Fort Drum. If the two PHR's matched, the commander signed the new PHR establishing property book accountability in Bosnia. At this point, the PBO in Bosnia assumed responsibility for maintaining property book accountability and all reporting requirements for a unit's property.
During the Christmas 1999 holidays, personnel and equipment began returning home, and the DPBO began recombining split unit hand receipts with parent unit hand receipts at Fort Drum.
The process for redeploying equipment was essentially the reverse of the deployment process. Redeployment started with the unit commander in Bosnia performing a 100-percent physical inventory of all the property on his PHR from the PBO in Bosnia. Based on this inventory, the PBO updated the commander's PHR, making any adjustments required by Army Regulation (AR) 735-5, Policies and Procedures for Property Accountability.
Four Steps for Redeployment
Step 1-Identify the returning unit. When an entire unit was identified to return, the Bosnia PBO processed three copies of the PHR. One remained in the supporting document file in Bosnia, one was mailed to the Fort Drum PBO, and one was sent with the senior person in the unit returning with the equipment.
Step 2-Complete the unit transfer. The second step was for the Bosnia PBO to send a ZRF to the Fort Drum PBO. The computer disk containing the ZRF was copied and distributed to the same three locations as was the PHR. When equipment arrived at Fort Drum, the ZRF was loaded into the supporting property book team's SPBS_R system. At this point, accountability for the original Fort Drum unit was established under two separate UIC's, the original and the derivative.
Step 3-Perform a change-of-command inventory. Next, both the forward and rear commanders performed a 100-percent physical inventory. The incoming unit commander signed two PHR's, one for each UIC.
Step 4-Put the unit back in its original configuration. The property book team merged the D-UIC with the original UIC by a lateral transfer, printed one PHR, and had the commander sign it to return the unit hand receipt to its original configuration. If only a portion of the unit's equipment was returning, the Bosnia PBO directed a lateral transfer from the 10th Mountain Division Property Book in Bosnia to the Fort Drum Property Book. A DA Form 3161 was filled out as a request for lateral transfer, listing the property to return to Fort Drum. The lateral transfer was processed as any other lateral transfer, going from one property book to another. The same process took place when the remainder of the unit's equipment returned from Bosnia.
This split accounting process worked well in Bosnia and Fort Drum. Property accountability was maintained, and reporting procedures remained in place. As with any military exercise, an after-action review identified the following issues for resolution.
Accuracy of the PHR before splitting the hand receipt for deployment. Last-minute reports of survey and administrative adjustment reports are the most common problems with splitting hand receipts. As with any 100-percent inventory, unit commanders should conduct an internal review of their property before the change of command. This internal review should include balancing all signed sub-hand receipts against the master hand receipt from the DPBO and requiring all hand receipt holders to conduct an internal, 100-percent physical inventory. Discrepancies (including in the components of line items) should be reported according to AR 735-5, giving close attention to serial numbers, stock numbers, and model numbers. Sixty days before a known deployment, property book adjustments should be submitted according to DA Pamphlet 710-2-1, Using Unit Supply System (Manual Procedures), AR 710-2, Inventory Management Supply Policy Below the Wholesale Level, and AR 735-5.
Solution: Conduct inventories (10-percent cyclic,
pre-change of command, and change of command)
according to DA standards, and report discrepancies
according to DA Pamphlet 710-2-1, AR 710-2, and AR 735-5.
Two warrant officers from the 10th Mountain Division
process unit transfer requests (ZRF's) in Bosnia.
Two warrant officers from the 10th Mountain Division process unit transfer requests (ZRF's) in Bosnia.
Accuracy of DA Form 3161 lateral transfers to split the hand receipt. Some unit supply sergeantsmany without military occupational specialty 92Y (unit supply specialist) did not pay attention to details. As a result, serial numbers, stock numbers, line item numbers, and nomenclature sometimes did not match the property book or the actual equipment. This mismatch stopped the posting of equipment that, in some cases, already had been deployed. Lack of posting caused delays in splitting the hand receipt. These delays complicated the rear detachment commander's completion of the beginning-balance hand receipt needed to start his initial 100-percent inventory of rear detachment property.
Solution: The G4 and S4 logistics officers should train the supply sergeants and rear detachment commanders on the basic procedures for completing a DA Form 3161. DPBO should provide guidance on specific deployment procedures.
Failure of soldiers attached to another unit for deployment to notify either the losing unit or the gaining unit that they were carrying personal items such as weapons, masks, and toolboxes. Unit commanders must know which soldiers are deploying outside of their units. Commanders and first sergeants must ensure that every deploying soldier clears the arms room, the nuclear-biological-chemical noncommissioned officer (NCO), and the supply sergeant. Hand receipt holders who are not deploying but are sending equipment must inform the supply sergeant of all transactions and request his guidance. Before the deployment, the unit supply sergeant must laterally transfer a soldier's equipment to the unit to which the soldier will be attached. This is essential for the deploying commander to maintain 100-percent accountability, especially with sensitive items.
Solution: The G4's and S4's should establish a mandatory out-processing checklist for soldiers who are deploying with other companies. Soldiers should not be allowed to deploy until the lateral transfers are posted to the deploying unit's hand receipt. An exception to this procedure is for deployments with less than 72 hours' notice.
Deploying with excess equipment. Higher headquarters had given specific instructions to deploy only with equipment that the division G4 had approved for deployment. The DPBO also had instructed units not to take equipment that was excess to their modification table of organization and equipment (MTOE) without written approval from the G4. Units were briefed on the many items already in country that were on a Bosnia table of distribution and allowances (TDA) property book.
The intent of the requirement was to ensure that units brought only the equipment they would be using. In Bosnia, space for and security of equipment were limited. Someone from the unit would have to secure and maintain unused equipment, in addition to the pre-set package signed for in country. Further, higher headquarters did not want units to deploy with the intent of leaving excess equipment in Bosnia. Although the property book teams convinced most units not to deploy with excess equipment, a few units still did so. The excess caused very little impact on the missions, either in Bosnia or back at home station. However, the fielding of new equipment at Fort Drum was affected by excess taken to Bosnia.
Solution: Although deploying with excess equipment was a minor problem compared to previous Bosnia rotations, the command should continue to emphasize adherence to the MTOE.
Failure to verify the equipment needed for the mission and update the requirement documents to reflect those needs. The DPBO struggled to acquire equipment required by higher headquarters, only to be told by the Bosnia PBO not to send it. This contradiction caused discontent across several divisions and with the PBO's who assisted in acquiring and sending equipment to Fort Drum because we had to send equipment back to its original owners. It also made it impossible to make sure that units took enough equipment to Bosnia and left behind equipment they would not need.
Solution: Do not have higher headquarters (above division level) dictate specific equipment requirements down to the user level. Higher headquarters should review and validate authorization documents annually and then instruct the current Bosnia PBO to requisition command-directed line item numbers according to the authorization documents. The current Bosnia PBO can ask the next rotation's PBO to fill the remaining shortages. For the next rotations, the PBO can fill only from current MTOE authorizations without corps approval. A list of all shortages for Bosnia that will exceed the next division's authorizations for the participating units must be sent back to the responsible headquarters, with a copy sent to the Bosnia PBO. The Bosnia PBO is responsible for working with higher headquarters to fill shortages.
Delay of Continuing Balance System-Expanded (CBS_X) and Unique Item Tracking (UIT) serial number reporting to the Army Materiel Command's Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA). Establishing the D-UIC's early and immediately requesting DODAAC's for the new D-UIC's ensured 100-percent CBS-X and UIT reporting for all transactions leaving the division. However, the actual in-country procedures were delayed, causing errors in the LOGSA data base. Those errors meant rejections for the 10th Mountain Division's UIT data base because they had not been reported as a gain in Bosnia. Serial numbers are not removed from one unit's UIT records until matched to another unit's serial-number receipt.
Solution: Upon notification of a deployment, contact LOGSA for specific procedures for a unit's deployed location. While deployed, process CBS-X and UIT reports weekly.
Arrival of more than one ZRF for the same D_UIC at the deployed PBO. According to SPBS-R procedures, the losing unit sends the ZRF disk with the forward-deploying unit commander. The unit commander gives the ZRF disk to the gaining PBO to load that commander's assets onto the deployed PBO's SPBS-R system. Several divisions commented that this procedure becomes a problem when the commander loses the disk. To maintain property book records at both PBO sites, Fort Drum modified the SPBS-R procedures. Within 48 hours of processing a unit's ZRF disk, Fort Drum sent a report by electronic mail and attached another ZRF disk as a backup. (This also keeps CBS-X and UIT data bases up to date.) If a commander lost the ZRF disk but the Bosnia PBO had the file on e-mail, he would not have to build the hand receipt manually. The Bosnia PBO could download the ZRF data from the e-mailed report, and if the commander finds the original disk later, the PBO could print and compare the two.
Solution: The gaining PBO should post only the first ZRF disk received. Post either from the losing PBO from the e-mail report or from the incoming commander. In either case, the incoming commander must compare the hand receipts printed at the deployed location against the hand receipt he signed to produce the ZRF disk.
Importance of advance notification, command emphasis, in-process reviews, other meetings, and training to the success of the deployment process. Failure to coordinate efforts with all other activities could lead to reduced readiness. However, this was not a problem during this deployment because most commanders and units participated in meetings and developed training on deployment procedures early in the deployment process. Most units began communication with their property book team chiefs 6 months before deployment. Critical shortage lists relating to Bosnia were established and worked by the property book team chiefs. In the 30 days before deployment, all but 14 line items from the critical shortage list were filled from the MTOE's. The property book team chiefs worked closely with item managers and other PBO's throughout the corps. Before deployment, all but one line item was filled. Many units followed the detailed guidance, started early, completed early, and thus could spend time with their families in the last few days before the deployment.
Solution: To prepare successfully for deployment, the unit, the property book office, staff offices, and outside agencies must work together as a team.
Elements of Success
To make this split accounting process work, face-to-face briefings with each deploying unit were essential. The DPBO put together a briefing for the property book team chiefs. Months before deployment, the team chiefs briefed battalion and company commanders, S4's, and supply sergeants on the responsibilities and requirements of split hand receipts for Fort Drum and Bosnia.
Early identification of deploying units helped them prepare for split hand receipts. The PBO had to maintain close contact with the G3 plans and operations officers. This allowed the most time to prepare units for deployment.
As always, a 100-percent physical inventory before and after any deployment improves the margin of success. Units that were diligent in this process saved a lot of time on recovery.
Coordination between the property book at Fort Drum and the property book in Bosnia was essential. Even though the property book team in Bosnia did an outstanding job, developing an additional property book team at Fort Drum and deploying it with the 10th Mountain Division would have been easier. All assets, either deployed forward or remaining on the installation, still belonged to the 10th Mountain Division. Deploying the property book team from Fort Drum would have made CBS-X and UIT reporting easier, as well as the unit status report (USR) that was completed manually by the units. Each procedure was completed separately. The job got done on both sides, but it could have been easier. The USR shows the on-hand assets every month for every parent-level unit in the division. While the USR is automated in SPBS-R, SPBS-R is limited to what is on hand at the rear location, so accurately accounting for the property at its real physical location impacts the USR.
Manually maintaining total asset visibility at Fort Drum was almost impossible. Determining current excess and shortage reports consumed an enormous amount of time. Fort Drum chose to have the Bosnia PBO send a property book extract for 10th Mountain Division units. After each unit's deployed assets were loaded on the division's total asset visibility computer, the items in the property book extract from Bosnia were listed directly below their original UIC. This also provided the Fort Drum PBO the correct assets within a battalion.
Deployment to Areas With No PBO
Fort Drum also had units deployed to other
countries outside the Bosnia PBO's authority, such as Kosovo
and the Sinaisome with no PBO contacts. Once a ZRF
is processed, the equipment is no longer on any
PBO's property books until a gaining PBO posts the
gaining ZRF. Timing is critical. Until the gaining PBO
posts the ZRF, the CBS_X validation shows the assets
as losses. If an in-country PBO cannot be located, there
is 100-percent loss of accountability in the Army
In an immediate real-world deployment (less than 30 days' notice), there may be no contact with a gaining PBO. In such a case, an additional SPBS-R computer should be set up and loaded with the unit's deployed property from the extra copy of the ZRF disk for the deployed unit so that neither CBS-X nor UIT data will be reported twice. From the additional computer, a property book extract should be run, just as for other property deployed to Bosnia, which would give a true picture of the organization's assets worldwide.
The D-UIC's identify property not physically on the installation. For split operations, all the ZRF's must be processed in the same manneras a task force deployment, not as a unit movement. Even when most of a unit is deploying, use the D-UIC as the forward UIC. Otherwise, there is a mixture of UIC's and D-UIC's deployed, eliminating the instant identification (by the number at the end of the D-UIC) of deployed units on consolidated property reports for total asset visibility.
Splitting property and accounting for all of it during deployment was not an easy task. If not for the dedication and expertise of the warrant officers, NCO's, and enlisted soldiers working in the DPBO, it could not have been done. They are the ones who worked 14-hour days to make it happen while maintaining total division support and 100-percent accountability. ALOG
Chief Warrant Officer (W-4) Michael E. Toter is the Division Property Book Officer for the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, and served as property book officer during the redeployment from Bosnia. He has a B.S degree in management from the University of Maryland and is enrolled as a graduate student with the University of Maryland.
Chief Warrant Officer (W-4) James M. Townsend is assigned to the 650th Counterintelligence Group, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Belgium. He was the Division Property Book Officer for the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, during the fiscal year 1999 deployment to Bosnia.