As the program management office for the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program on the African continent, the 405th Army Field Support Brigade was tasked with providing base life support services this month for U.S. Africa Command’s premier and largest annual special operations exercise.
About 400 service members from 10 African partner and allied nations are participating in exercise Flintlock 2022. This year the exercise is hosted by Cote d’Ivoire, also known as the Ivory Coast.
For Flintlock 2022, U.S. Special Operations Command Africa wanted to use LOGCAP as a solution to provide base life support services, said Maj. Amanda Foster, Flintlock 2022 administrative contracting officer. Flintlock is an annual, African-led, combined military and law enforcement exercise that helps to strengthen key partner-nation forces throughout Africa in partnership with international special operations forces.
The 405th AFSB knows the process very well, Foster said. The 405th AFSB is able to facilitate getting the services needed, and the brigade is able to help ensure everything flows smoothly between the requirements owner and all the key players.
“The main thing this year is the camp where the exercise is being held does not have a billeting area,” said Foster.
“The camp has some great ranges for the special operations forces to do their joint training on, but there was nowhere for them to live – so that’s what LOGCAP was able to do – to provide a billeting area for them,” Foster said. “LOGCAP put up the tents, the cots, the electrical outlets, the showers, the portable latrines, the generators and the material handling equipment – the cranes and forklifts on site to move equipment when needed.”
Foster said the camp has hard structure buildings, as well, which are being used by operations and exercise academics. However, even though these buildings have dedicated electric and water utilities, there’s been some issues.
“We’ve been going through some growing pains with the camp because it’s new construction. I think we’re the first inhabitants to actually use these buildings,” Foster said. “There has been power surges and sometimes the water goes out so it’s been good to have the LOGCAP contractors here to help with some backup solutions.”
“That has been very critical and beneficial,” she said.
James Wilkerson, a LOGCAP support planning and operations contractor who is based out of Djibouti, Africa, said the Flintlock exercise has been using LOGCAP since 2017.
Although the use of LOGCAP is highly recognized as the preferred sourcing solution for base life support services at fixed locations throughout Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Africa, the program has the flexibility through proper planning to scale down operations and provide limited base life support services in support of exercises like Flintlock 2022, Wilkerson said.
“LOGCAP is the most robust solution for contractor provided base life support services under a single umbrella,” said Wilkerson.
“The more we leverage the LOGCAP contractors in the U.S. Africa Command theater during these large scale exercises, the more it demonstrates the viability of our contracting partners and their ability to support theater opening and planning for future events that may come,” said Tom Moore, 405th AFSB logistics management professional and LOGCAP senior planner for Africa.
The base life support services 405th AFSB LOGCAP brings to Flintlock 2022 include billeting capacity for about 350 personnel, a couple dozen portable latrines and corresponding hand wash stations, 30 male showers, 12 female showers and water storage capacity of 10,000 liters as well as fest tent billeting. Each tent contains up to 50 cots with protective mosquito netting, lighting and electrical drops. Medical services are also located onsite, and LOGCAP provides tents and ancillary conveniences for these services, as well.
The Flintlock exercise is designed to strengthen the ability of key partner nations in the region to counter violent extremist organizations, collaborate across borders and provide security for the people of Africa. Additionally, the exercise bolsters partnerships between African, U.S. and international military and law enforcement organizations, increasing interoperability during crises and operations to increase security and stability.
Except for 2021 due to COVID-19, Flintlock has been held annually since 2005. This year, participating African nations include Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger. International participants include Canada, France, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The 405th AFSB provides and coordinates U.S. Army Material Command enablers in support of U.S. Army Africa and Europe through its Logistics Civil Augmentation Program. The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging AMC’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.