After residing at 12301 A Avenue on Fort Lee, Virginia, for almost 10 years, Army Logistician has moved to new quarters. We're now in Bunker Hall, the headquarters and principal academic building of the Army Logistics Management College. Along with the new editorial offices came new phone numbers, fax number, and e-mail and regular mail addresses. We want to be sure that you-our readers, contributors, and correspondents-can keep in touch with us, so please note the changes that follow (or just copy this page for your personal address book). The mailing address is-EDITOR ARMY LOGISTICIAN, ALMC SUITE C300, 2401 QUARTERS ROAD, FT LEE VA 23801-1705. Our new number is 804-765+extension or DSN 539+extension. Thus, our FAX number is 804-765-4463 or DSN 539-4463. Phone extensions and e-mail addresses for each of us on the staff are-
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The name "Hercules" evokes visions of strength. Having read your article, "Hercules Unchained: The Improved Recovery Vehicle" [November-December 1995 issue], and Sergeant Bridgman's response in your May-June "Log Notes," I wonder if "Hercules" is an appropriate name. Once again the powers that be, without getting input from the users, field a recovery vehicle that will lag behind the equipment it's designed to support. I spent 11 years as a 63H tracked vehicle repairman and have some experience in operating and supporting this vehicle.
One morning during an alert, while deployed in the Persian Gulf, we watched the Bradleys and the Abrams moving out in front while the M88's and AVLB's [armored-vehicle launched bridges] brought up the rear. The two dinosaurs chugged along, sending black plumes of smoke skyward. It was humorous at that moment, but it made a point. Our "warfighters" will be racing to engage the enemy while their recovery vehicles drudgingly will try to catch up.
From my mechanic's background, if I'm to tow something, I want a tow vehicle with the same or more power than the vehicle I'm towing. Doctrine now states that when an Ml or the heavier M1A1 is towed, two M88's will be used-one to tow, the other to brake.
We've modernized the armor folks by giving them the best tank in the world; modernized the infantry by giving them the best battlefield taxi in the world; modernized the artillery by giving them a new ammunition carrier and soon, coming to a battery near you, is a new howitzer. The armor folks also have a new bridge launcher based on the M1 chassis in the works. Yet, we leave our recovery folks in the dark ages with only a slightly better dinosaur.
With Hercules, armor units and their direct support units have to stock repair parts for two systems and PLL [prescribed load list] clerks have to track parts for two systems. Wouldn't it make more sense for armor units to stock only one kind of track pads, road wheels, and other repair parts? Soldier maintenance training would be simpler, too, by having to learn only one system. One would think common sense would dictate basing a recovery vehicle on the same chassis as the vehicle it is designed to support.
Christopher L. Cullen, Fort Drum, NY
The "Single Stock Fund Decision Made" story in the July-August Digest column of Army Logistician caused some of us in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (ODCSLOG), U.S. Army, Pacific, to question the validity of some of the statements.
First, it must be understood that the single stock fund (SSF) initiative is highly controversial because of major differences in the two primary alternatives. The first alternative, proposed by the Logistics Integration Agency and the Army Materiel Command (AMC), would extend wholesale financial ownership and item management down to the corps' and theater army area commands' materiel management centers and installation-level directorates of logistics. The second alternative, proposed by the U.S. Forces Command, would handle financial ownership as described in the first alternative, but item management would be retained by retail activities using the standard Army retail supply system-objective (SARSS-O). In other words, it is a question of "centralized" versus "decentralized" item management.
The original concept described in your May-June 1991 article, "Primer on the Single Stock Fund," and restated in your current story, embraced the concept of centralized asset management. After getting the results of a proof-of-principle conducted at Fort Hood, Texas, General Wilson, who was then the Army DCSLOG, requested that the SSF initiative be "relooked" to determine if it should be continued and, if so, in what form. A council of colonels (COC) was formed, headed by the DCSLOG's chief of the secondary items division of the Resource Management Directorate, to conduct the review. Last February, the COC met, discussed the alternatives, and overwhelmingly voted the FORSCOM alternative as their preference. The DCSLOG later approved the second alternative for continued development and assigned AMC as the Army's executive agent.
The statement in your story, "The SSF, also called centralized asset management. . ." was true before the latest decision approved the decentralized asset management concept. Your story also failed to state that AMC has been assigned to develop and implement SSF, based on the FORSCOM alternative. Program management will operate through a corporate board structure, comprised of members in grades O6 and GS-15, representing major commands, AMC, and Department of the Army. The overall picture your story should have told is that wholesale and retail management of Army items will be centralized at AMC, but item management will remain decentralized.
George Lampros, Jr., Fort Shafter, Haiwaii
Gee, Mr. Lampros, we kinda thought that was what our story said, but maybe we weren't as explicit in our explanation as we should have been. Let me offer a very minor defense: our story was reviewed and approved by subject matter specialists before it was published. Sorry if we misled anyone or confused the issue.
I'm writing in reference to the article, "Mortuary Affairs in the Theater," by Major James Bates that was in your July-August issue. Major Bates wrote, "If chemical and biological agent monitors indicate contamination, the search and recovery tags and personal effects bags must be annotated with the letters CHEM or BIO."
The fact is there is nothing in the Army inventory that can monitor any object for biological contamination. Only the biological integrated detection system can monitor for biological agents, and it detects only a biological cloud.
Can you correct this in the next issue of Army Logistician? Some commanders may waste precious time trying to find a biological agent monitor for their search and recovery team.
SGT Randall S. Pike, Fort McClellan, AL
Because of our printing schedule we couldn't print your letter in our "next (September-October) issue," Sergeant Pike; but here is the clarification you asked for. Major Bates is on an oversea assignment, so we asked Tom Bourlier, the Army's recognized subject matter expert in this area and the director of the Mortuary Affairs Center, Fort Lee, Virginia, to comment. Here is his response.-Ed.
Sergeant Pike is correct. There are no biological detectors at the present time. The technology for such a detector is, even now, being worked on.
Detection of biological agents, as mentioned in the Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures publication, was not intended to mean that we are using detectors. Detection of biological agents takes place in medical channels. Since personnel do not immediately die of biological contamination, they will be in medical channels when they succumb. When remains are transferred to the mortuary affairs collection point, medical personnel will state what the contamination is. I hope this will help, Sergeant Pike.
Tom Bourlier, Fort Lee, VA
Staff Sergeant Kenneth Abrahamson's letter in your July-August Log Notes hit home. Guard units are not the only ones who struggle through unnecessary, bureaucratic, time-consuming, non-value-added exercises in tool control. It is a common problem that should have been fixed years ago.
I suspect some log person somewhere in the bowels of the Department of Defense created this monster so organizations that have been reduced in strength by more than 55 percent will have still more things to do.
Hello, out there in logistics-land! Is anyone listening to people in the field? Sergeant Abrahamson's four-point tool replacement process should be adopted without discussion because he makes sense of a system that is totally out of control.
If you want to operate a business, which is what everyone from the President down to people at the lowest level of Government say they want, then this would be a very good first step.
My hat is off to the "green suit" side of the force, both active and guard people. They are doing one heck of a job in the face of formidable odds. Job well done!
Curt Robinson, Holloman Air Force Base, NM
Log Notes is your column-a way for you to share your thoughts and ideas on a variety of logistics subjects. You may want to comment on articles we have published, take issue with something we've published or with something happening in the logistics arena, or just share a creative, innovative idea on a better way to do things. Your "note to the editor" is welcomed and offers valuable feedback. Your log note will be edited only to meet style and space constraints. All log notes must be signed and include a return address; but, if you request, your name will not be published. Mail log notes to EDITOR ARMY LOGISTICIAN, ALMC SUITE C300, 2401 QUARTERS ROAD, FT LEE VA 23801-1705; send them by FAX to 804-765-4463 or DSN 539-4463; or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.