High tech deployment equipment 10-2010
U.S. Army Photo by David Ruderman
U.S. Army Africa’s G-4 Mobility Division added a sophisticated piece of equipment to its inventory recently that will augment the command’s ability to deploy and re-deploy a wide range of vehicles and cargo in short order.
The arrival at Vicenza of the Deployable Automated Cargo Measurement System (DACMS) drew more than a dozen logistics professionals from Army Africa and the U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza Directorate of Logistics to a briefing, demonstration and hands-on training at Caserma Ederle Aug. 30.
“What we learned last year during exercise Natural Fire 10 is that U.S. Army Africa may be supported by National Guard and Reserve units,” said Alex Menzies, USARAF, G-4 Mobility Division, Air Branch. Many units deploy without their unit movement officers, said Menzies, so Army Africa needs the capability to process and move equipment in country, often in remote locations and under austere conditions.
“This will help us with our through-put at any node, any APOD or SPOD (Aerial Port or Seaport of Disembarkation). With that set-up, you’re saving a lot of time,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Terry Throm, G-4 mobility warrant officer.
Lacking tools such as the DACMS made re-deployment of equipment a time-consuming and, occasionally, an iffy proposition.
“We did it the old-fashioned way, with pen and pencil and spreadsheet. We decided we needed the equipment … to be self-sufficient,” Throm said.
The DACMS, which consists of two-laser enabled reading posts and a set of digital, floor-pad sensors, is marketed by Intercomp Weighing of Medina, Minn., and costs $127,000. It electronically measures key data points and automatically enters them into electronic load planning systems, Menzies said.
The latest in vehicle processing technology, the unit is being fielded throughout U.S. military force projection platform locations, including Ramstein, Germany, and Aviano, Italy, said Menzies.
Its efficiency will reduce Installation Staging Area processing time significantly and minimize the deploying organization’s manpower requirements, he said.
“It alleviates a lot of the hands-on we have to do,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marina Dennis, USARAF G-4 Mobility NCOIC. “It cuts down a lot of the time.”
As if to make her point, garrison logistics personnel drove a trailer-bearing Highly Mobile, Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) through the electronic reading posts and over the weighing pads. Within 15 seconds, and without the vehicle operator having to come to a halt, the DACMS had measured and recorded its length, breadth, height, weight, number of axles and center of weight.
Army Africa is likely to put the unit to full use during exercises and training in the year ahead such as the 2011 episodes of Atlas Drop, Judicious Response and Natural Fire, said Menzies.
In addition to deploying the unit to the field, Army Africa can make the DACMS available to other commands and units in Vicenza, for instance the 173rd Airborne Brigade or the garrison Directorate of Logistics, said Throm.
And when it comes to going mobile, The DACMS can fit on a standard Air Force load pallet and be moved quickly to wherever it is needed.
“It’s part of our fly-away kit,” said Menzies.
“We’re hoping it’s a system for the 21st century,” said Throm.
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