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NEWS | Sept. 25, 2013

Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston - supporting warfighters

By Senior Airman Ashlee Galloway Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

In 1995, an Army unit stood up in Charleston with the intent of moving warfighters and their equipment to locations around the world - mission ready and fast. This unit, the Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston located on Joint Base Charleston - Naval Weapons Station, S.C., is still performing that mission today.

Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston provides the U.S. warfighter the ability to quickly generate combat power at any location designated by the National Command Authority by establishing, maintaining and reconstituting Army Prepositioned Stocks Afloat.

"At ASLAC, our job is to perform maintenance on Army equipment that is prepositioned on ships and have it ready for the warfighter at any given moment," said Robert O'Brien, ASLAC general manager. "Here at ASLAC, we also receive, inventory and package various supply class stocks for storage."

Currently, the ASLAC team consists of 34 Department of Defense civilians, nine military service members, and numerous contractors.

"A huge part of our mission is the Army Prepositioned Stocks program," said O'Brien. "This program consists of supplies prepositioned on afloat ships, and on land in Europe, Korea and Southwest Asia."

APS afloat is a key component of the Army's strategic mobility triad that includes sealift and airlift. The ability to hand off equipment, wherever it is needed, reduces the deployment response time for gaining tactical units conducting critical contingency operations around the world.

ASLAC team members perform maintenance on Army tactical cargo. When a ship arrives at Wharf Alpha at the Naval Weapons Station, ASLAC overseas the unloading of any cargo that is in need of servicing or replacing. Replacement cargo is prepositioned and ASLAC oversees the cargo loading operations. A typical ship can carry more than 5,500 sets, kits, and outfits that are containerized or loaded on the beds of trucks and trailers.

Cargo is loaded onto USNS Watson-Class Large, Medium Speed Roll-On, Roll-Off ships. Each ship contains 393,000 square feet of storage space on seven decks and is capable of housing tanks, wheeled vehicles, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, weapons, medical supplies and even Meals Ready to Eat ...everything needed to supply a brigade-sized combat team ordered into action.

Ships are prepositioned throughout the world including Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and Guam/Saipan in the Pacific Ocean. The ships will normally stay on station for 24-30 months.

ASLAC also manages and oversees the maintenance cycles of the ammunition stowed on two container ships. Each ship holds approximately 2,300 containers of various types of ammunition and carries a net explosive weight of 9 million pounds.

"I love the mission that I do because it supports soldiers in saving lives," said Johnnel Cancer, ALSAC heavy wheel mechanic. "I take pride in our work - vehicles come in one way and go out the other. We get everything ready for troops going into battle ... all you need is the soldier, and that is a proud thing to be a part of."