1st COSCOM gets equipment and supplies to the soldiers – 1st Corps Support Command

The 1st Corps Support Command (COSCOM) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, plays a vital role in supporting the war on terrorism. It is responsible for moving the supplies and personnel of the four divisions of the 18th Airborne Corps: the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg; the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum, New York; and the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The 1st COSCOM also meets the needs of the thousands of troops who support these units worldwide.

To accomplish this mission, 1st COSCOM units such as the 403d Transportation Company and the 58th Maintenance Company have worked 24 hours a day to prepare units for deployment. “We don’t shut down if it’s raining or snowing or it gets too cold. We just keep going through the elements to get the mission done,” said Staff Sergeant Timothy Carmoney, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Corps Logistics Area Control Center (CLACC), 58th Maintenance Company.

The CLACC is the first step in moving equipment and cargo from Army posts to the combat zone. CLACC operations are critical to the combat effectiveness of vehicles that deploy from Fort Bragg. Every unit that deploys must go through the CLACC, and the 58th Maintenance Company’s team of professionals is ready to assist any unit at any time.

The second step in getting equipment to the combat zone is actually moving it out of Fort Bragg. Equipment leaves Fort Bragg by three different methods: air, rail, and truck.

1st COSCOM’s 507th Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group sends equipment by air from Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. Equipment can be transported quickly anywhere in the world on military air transports such as the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster. Although air transport allows equipment to move quickly, this option is expensive.

Equipment is shipped by rail from the Fort Bragg rail yard to training sites, ports, and other airfields across the continental United States. This process is cheaper than air transport, but more time consuming.

Equipment sent by truck moves quickly to ports and airfields anywhere in the country. If the amount of cargo is greater than the hauling capacity of available military trucks, civilian trucks are contracted to complete the mission. Transport by truck can be expensive and is used only within the continental United States.

All equipment not transported across the Atlantic by military aircraft is sent to ports along the eastern seaboard of the United States. From there, 1st COSCOM soldiers and activated Army National Guard and Army Reserve units work together to load the equipment onto Navy and contracted ships. Like the Merchant Marine of World War II, civilian contracted shipping companies provide equipment and personnel to assist the military with shipping cargo. The cargo capacity of one fast sealift ship is 190 times greater than that of a C-17 Globemaster; a Navy fast sealift ship can carry over 1,200 pieces of equipment. It costs less to transport equipment by sea than to ship it by air, but it takes longer; a trip by sea to the Indian Ocean can take up to 30 days.

Once the supplies have left the United States by air or sea, the 1st COSCOM is responsible for tracking and distributing them. Advances in technology have improved the visibility and accountability of the flow of logistics. New technologies and equipment, ranging from new radio frequency transmitters to Kalmar rough-terrain cargo handlers, have made it easier for logisticians to do their jobs. “Radio frequency [RF] transmitters attached to cargo containers is one way we can track equipment as it moves. As containers come and go from different ports and airfields all over the world, the RF transmitters allow us to monitor and keep accountability of everything inside,” said Brigadier General Brian I. Geehan, Commander of the 1st COSCOM.

“Even with all the advances in technology, soldiers still have to do most of the legwork–from guiding equipment onto railcars and loading C-17 Globemasters to strapping down equipment on the back of flatbed trucks and loading seagoing vessels,” said Geehan. “And 1st COSCOM soldiers do that legwork 24 hours a day.”

The Army Logistician staff thanks Specialist Travis Edwards, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 1st Corps Support Command Public Affairs Office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for providing the information and photos contained in this article.


COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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