Logistics Assistance Representatives in the ‘second to none’ division

Logistics Assistance Representatives in the ‘second to none’ division

Kent S. Marquardt

Have you ever had a logistics assistance representative (LAR) in your organization? If you have, I’m sure you will be able to relate to these sentiments expressed by a 2d Infantry Division infantry battalion maintenance soldier as he was heading to a new assignment–

Sir:

I would like to send my appreciation to you

for an awesome LAO [logistics assistance office]

team. Throughout my last year here, there were

numerous occasions when I needed assistance

from the LARs. They bent over backward for my

unit and me. It didn’t matter if I needed the assistance

during the day, at night, or even on a weekend,

they were always there. They always provided

me with an answer when no one else could.

I only hope I have the same quality assistance at

my new unit as I did here.

LARs are civilians who are hired under the provisions of the Army Logistics Assistance Program (LAP) by the Army Materiel Command’s (AMC’s) Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM); Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM); Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM); and Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM). The LARs, who usually are retired warrant officers or senior NCOs, know everything about their unit’s equipment. They provide answers to maintenance, training, and parts questions. They are the “go-to guys for answers to operational readiness questions. They have been there and know what’s what. This is especially true of the LARs in the Logistics Assistance Office in U.S. Forces Korea’s 2d “Second to None” Infantry Division (LAO-2ID).

What the 2ID LARs Do

The goals of the LARs in the LAO-2ID are to–

* Resolve customers’ technical, logistics, and training problems.

* Be aggressive, proactive, visible, responsive, and approachable.

* Represent the AMC Commander on all issues pertaining to logistics.

* Coordinate and maintain visibility on all AMC activities in the 2ID area of operations.

* Act as the single point of contact for the exchange of information between customers and AMC.

* Manage the LAP in the 2ID area.

* On order, deploy with their units.

The primary mission of the LAO is to improve and sustain readiness. This is accomplished through maintenance and supply assistance and training and readiness analysis and research (analyzing problems and finding solutions). Maintenance LARs spend most of their time troubleshooting equipment and providing refresher training. Supply LARs and logistics management specialists chase parts, identify long lead times and their causes, find alternative sources of supply, and expedite release and shipment of materiel. Wholesale supply availability and the sheer geographic distance from the wholesale supply sources contribute greatly to the constant supply challenges that occur on the Korean peninsula.

The 2ID is forward deployed in the demilitarized zone in the northern section of South Korea. LAO-2ID is dispersed among six different installations in Korea’s western corridor. Because of the LAO-2ID’s high operating tempo and real-world mission, most assigned LARs have never had time to be deployed off the peninsula.

Despite the geographic dispersion of the customer units, the expertise and dedication of the assigned LARs were directly responsible last year for a $7.8 million cost avoidance on repair parts and materiel for the 2ID. The LARs also provided 1,047 hours of informal supply and maintenance training to 2,369 soldiers. All of this was accomplished while working under increased force protection conditions imposed after 11 September 2001.

Support of Field Training Exercises

The LAO-2ID LARs also provide consistent, high-quality, onsite support to more than a dozen individual unit gunnery exercises per year, as well as to theater-, division-, and brigade-level exercises such as Ulchi Focus Lens; Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration (RSO&I); and Foal Eagle.

During RSO&I 2003, Task Force 2-34 armor personnel from the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), from Fort Riley, Kansas, drew 28 M1A1 tanks from Army pre-positioned stocks (Pacific) (APS–4) at Camp Carroll, Korea, to exercise and validate the APS–4 equipment. TACOM LARs from LAO-2ID were onsite at Camp Carroll to assist with the draw. The tanks were transported to Camp Casey and then driven 35 miles to the Rodriguez Live-Fire Complex for screening. Following the firing, they were carried on heavy equipment transporters back to the Camp Casey railhead. TACOM LARs provided outstanding onsite support throughout the entire screening phase and the exercise.

Hands-On Training

In response to a 2ID request that the LARs verify the condition of suspected unserviceable major assemblies before they were replaced, TACOM automotive and armament LARs and AMCOM aviation and missile LARs established a hands-on program for troubleshooting engines, transmissions, and major line-replaceable units. Under the program, items are either verified as unserviceable or are repaired and returned to service. This program has significantly reduced the division’s annual cost for major assemblies and has increased the skill level of the unit inspectors.

A key component of the LAO mission is providing technical training to help soldiers overcome readiness challenges. The typical tour for 2ID personnel is only 1 year, and many soldiers assigned to Korea are recent advanced individual training graduates who have very little experience. LARs provide continuity in the unit, filling the gaps and providing critical training the soldiers need to improve their skills and abilities.

LARs teach many classes throughout the year on a variety of subjects, but three training programs stand out above the rest. They are the School of the HEMTT [heavy, expanded-mobility tactical truck], Mobile STAMIS [Standard Army Management Information Systems] University, and the School of the HMMWV [high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicle]. Each of these training events presents maintenance personnel and operators with a systemic and technical overview of the subject under study. The objective is to prepare new soldiers for smooth assimilation into their units and make them productive as quickly as possible.

The forward deployed LAOs in 2ID are aggressive, committed, assertive, motivated, and responsive to the division’s logistics requirements. LARs bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the division that enables the LAO-2ID to stay relevant and make a difference every day it supports the “Second to None” Infantry Division.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL KENT S. MARQUARDT IS THE CHIEF OF THE LOGISTICS ASSISTANCE OFFICE FOR THE 2D INFANTRY DIVISION AT CAMP MOBILE, KOREA. HE HAS A BACHELOR’S DEGREE FROM TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY AND A MASTER’S DEGREE IN MILITARY ARTS AND SCIENCES FROM THE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES. HE IS A GRADUATE OF THE THE QUARTERMASTER OFFICER ADVANCED COURSE AND THE COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF OFFICERS COURSE.

JAMES W. ROSE, JR., IS A LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST ASSIGNED TO THE LOGISTICS ASSISTANCE OFFICE OF THE 2D INFANTRY DIVISION AT CAMP MOBILE, KOREA. DURING OPERATION DESERT STORM, HE SERVED AS THE CHIEF OF THE LOGISTICS ASSISTANCE OFFICE FOR THE 11TH AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY BRIGADE (PATRIOT).

COPYRIGHT 2003 ALMC

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group