Field Support & Prepositioned Stocks: An Enduring Legacy

In 1996, the Army War Reserve Support Command (AWRSPTCMD) was created under the Industrial Operations Command (IOC). The primary mission of the AWRSPTCMD was to unify the field support and reserve components controlled by IOC under a single command structure. This gave control of the Combat Equipment Groups (CEGs) to the newly formed command. The same CEGs were the forerunner to the modern Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS) mission of the current Army Sustainment Command (ASC).

Following IOC’s transformation into the Operations Support Command (OSC) in 2000, AWRSPTCMD also underwent a change transforming into the Field Support Command (FSC). FSC retained the mission set of AWRSPTCMD and added Army Materiel Command’s (AMC) Logistics Support Elements (LSEs), Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), and the Logistics Assistance Program (LAP). Most of these missions were later transferred to the higher headquarters at OSC. FSC acted as a single-point-of-entry to AMC for all Army units. This was further amplified by the need for logistics readiness by way of analyzing data input from Logistics Assistance Officers (LAOs) and input from AMC’s major subordinate commands (MSCs).

FSC also integrated AMC Forward (FWD) into its structure, setting the stage for the creation of the modern Army Field Support Brigades (AFSBs). Across FSC’s global footprint included multiple AMC-FWD’s, CEGs, and Combat Equipment Battalion’s.

According to FSC’s mission that was declared in their FY2000 history on 31 MAR 2000, the FSC’s mission was to “provide a single face for the logistical support to the theater [commander’s] by maintaining, accounting for, issuing, reconstituting Army prepositioned stocks and materiel globally prepositioned.” FSC also provided command and control for all AMC elements in theater while managing LOGCAP operations.

The need for maintaining and support of the prepositioned equipment sets became well apparent during the following fiscal year on the heels of the September 11 attacks. FSC’s report stated that the opening acts of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) proved challenging, with the largest emphasis being placed on its APS sites. This included drawdowns, RESET, and distribution management. By FY02, FSC’s key areas of engagement came from buyouts managed by the Materiel Management & Readiness Integration for APS brigade sets, Logistics Systems Support Directorate for its managing of the contract for the Army War Reserve Deployment System (AWRDS), and the Acquisition Directorate for its LOGCAP oversight.

By the end of FY02, FSC was designated to supersede OSC as Army Field Support Command (AFSC) as an MSC of AMC. This was done to underscore the significance of AFSC’s mission set to include the increased emphasis on logistics readiness and war reserve missions. AFSC was designated provisional in January 2003, and began its life as a subordinate to Joint Munitions Command (JMC), before the two inverted their billeting. This move made AFSC a two-star command, with JMC being a one-star command.

Within the transformation process was also an intent to create unified logistics sustainment command, an eventual evolution, to which AFSC would transform into. This theoretical organization was to compose of a three-star commander, with both continental U.S. theater support oversight in addition to its existing global reach as the Army’s logistics integrator and sustainer.

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