Army Prepositioned Stock 5 (APS-5)
Army Prepositioned Stock 5 (APS-5) is located in Southwest Asia, and as of early 2002 consisted of two brigade-sets of material -- one stored in Kuwait and the other stored in Qatar. These 2x1 brigade sets each consist of two armor battalions and one mechanized infantry battalion.
Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 (APS-5) at Camp Doha stocks consist of a divisional Armor brigade task force with two Armor/Infantry balanced task forces and one pure Armor battalion. Combat support and combat service support units are also part of prepositioned stocks. Each brigade set consists of one mechanized and two armored battalions, as well as equipment for combat service support units. Each brigade set holds in storage about 115 M-1A1 Abrams tanks, 60 M-2A2 Bradley fighting vehicles, 100 armored personnel carriers, 25 mortars and 20 155-millimeter howitzers.
As of 2001 plans called for storing a third brigade set in the region eventually. With APS-5, APS-3 and Qatar, the Army could muster eight maneuver battalions. The CENTCOM commander in chief's (CINC's) goal is to pre-position a division of equipment [including nine maneuver battalions] on the Arabian peninsula.
By the end of August 2002 the US had moved equipment, which had been stored in Qatar and Europe, to Kuwait. The US had enough equipment in Kuwait -- three brigade sets -- to support about 15-25,000 troops in Kuwait. It would take only a few days to bring in the soldiers to man the tanks, artillery pieces and armored personnel carriers now in place ["Bush Faces Complex Gauntlet On The Path To War With Iraq" By David S. Cloud and Greg Jaffe, Wall Street Journal September 5, 2002 Pg. 1].
On 04 September 2002 US defense officials confirmed plans to transport a brigade's worth of equipment -- about 70 tanks and other tracked vehicles plus additional military cargo -- to Kuwait from the United States aboard a commercial cargo vessel in late September.
On 05 September 2002 Army Secretary Thomas E. White disclosed some details about a movement in July of weaponry and war supplies from Qatar to Camp Doha in Kuwait. He described the shipment as a training exercise, in which the U.S. Army moved a brigade's worth of equipment from Qatar to Kuwait, closer to the border with Iraq. But other Army officials said much of the materiel -- which included armored vehicles as well as fuel, ammunition and other supplies -- remained in Kuwait to provide for the expansion of ground forces ordered after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Two battalions of troops were added to the single battalion that had been in Kuwait, establishing a brigade of more than 6,000 soldiers.
The IOC assumed control of APS-5 on 30 April 1996. At that time AWR-5 was a full, heavy brigade set of equipment, ready to fight as fast as troops can be flown into theater. The US Army pre-positioned Army War Reserves Set 5 (APS-5) at Camp Doha, Kuwait, to meet the time/distance challenge. ARCENT-Kuwait can issue at least a battalion set of that equipment every 24 hours.
The Army routinely exercises that equipment at least twice a year during the DESERT SPRING [formerly INTRINSIC ACTION] exercise series with brigade command posts and battalion task forces (TFs) from the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, and 24th Infantry Division (ID) (Mechanized) [M], now redesignated the 3d ID(M), Fort Stewart, Georgia. In the recent past, the 4th ID(M), Fort Hood, and the 1st Armored Division, Bad Kreuznach, Germany, also participated. APS-5 was a valuable deterrent during VIGILANT WARRIOR from October to December 1994 when the 24th ID(M) fell in on it and trained vigorously and visibly to demonstrate US presence and resolve to Iraq. From August to December 1995 during VIGILANT SENTINEL, the 1st Cavalry Division trained with the equipment, showing they are fully prepared to fight alongside our Kuwaiti allies.
Well maintained, rapidly issued and versatile, APS-5 could put a fighting force on the ground swiftly, at the "point of the spear." In September 1995, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Smithers was tasked to establish ARCENT-Qatar and receive a battalion set of equipment within four months. By January 1996, in Qatar, Third Army/ARCENT had pre-positioned the first increment of the next brigade set of equipment on the Arabian peninsula. A heavy battalion TF set of equipment was in place, and was planned to eventually be expanded to a full division base set. A Third Army/ARCENT and Army Materiel Command partnership is developing the concepts to get this set of equipment rapidly into the fight.
Because of the large volume of equipment stored in Europe and the corresponding needs in SWA, Europe sent the majority of its remaining stock to APS-5 in support of OEF/OIF. The surge mission was the most complex, time-sensitive, and important redistribution effort ever undertaken by the command. The Army has primarily depended on two APS sets for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - APS-3, which is equipment prepositioned on ships, or "afloat"; and APS-5, which is the equipment prepositioned in Southwest Asia. APS-5 has been depleted and reconstituted several times over during the course of these operations.
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