Military

BRIGADE S4 OPERATIONS


MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT

The maintenance status reporting system is not successfully executed during most CTC rotations. Brigades generally encounter great difficulty in acquiring timely and accurate data from subordinate elements. DA Form 2406, Materiel Condition Status Report, has the capability to provide adequate information to commanders when it is properly prepared and expeditiously forwarded. The brigade S4 frequently doesn't possess the expertise to manage the materiel maintenance system. Very often other players in the system (the brigade executive officer, the support battalion commander, or the support battalion executive officer) emerge as the system driver.

The most successful systems usually include a daily face-to-face maintenance meeting between the system manager and each battalion motor officer or executive officer.

The HHC commander (located at the field trains) attends maintenance meetings held by the Forward Support Battalion (FSB). The DA Form 2406 may be sent by MSE or by hard copy via carrier along with any other pertinent information. Typical information that is passed from the BMO to the HHC commander for maintenance meetings is as follows:

  • Critical shortages.
  • Current maintenance efforts.
  • Current deadline items and projected time of repair and availability of item.

The HHC commander can represent the battalion without removing the BMO from the unit maintenance collection point (UMCP). The Bde S-4 attends the daily maintenance meeting and receives an accurate status from battalions on maintenance issues and a current DA Form 2406. An effective system requires good communications so that timely and accurate information is passed between the combat trains command post (CTCP) and the field trains CP.

The daily meeting centers upon an in-depth item-by-item review of the daily DA Form 2406. Attendees at such meetings usually include company representatives, the shop officer and the materiel management center representative (the repair parts manager). Brigades generally discover that these reviews are the primary path to successful maintenance system management. When maintenance is not properly managed, brigades experience significant loss of combat power and are forced to train/fight at less than desired strengths. Most units have computers to accomplish these functions in garrison. While these work well in that peaceful environment, they aren't normally tugged enough to withstand the field. Therefore, brigades tend to go manual at the CTCs which is a difficult transition.

TECHNIQUE(S):

  • Prescribe the maintenance management system in a brigade SOP for all organic, attached and direct support units.
  • Use brigade-level CPXs to exercise the maintenance management system. All key players must be involved.
  • Use TACCS to automate maintenance management in the field.

SUPPLY MANAGEMENT

Daily reporting of logistical status to the brigade S4 by subordinate elements is generally not well done. The report formats developed for utilization have ranged from very minimal (Classes I, III and IV) to formats comparable to those contained in FM 10-14-2 which are very comprehensive. In most cases, even the units with good formats do not execute the system with great success. Daily reports are seldom received with consistency from more than two or three of the subordinate units per rotation. Compounding this situation is the fact that reports are often constructed to reflect forecasts without addressing quantities on hand. This results in brigades acquiring more than what is needed forward while complicating the ability to properly manage stocks already in the forward area. Cross-leveling of stocks between the forward elements becomes an extremely difficult operation.

Timeliness reports and the data contained in them is another critical element in the equation. Compiled data is frequently not transmitted to the provider to allow adequate response time. This contributes to the desire of managers to push stocks forward with the purpose of avoiding any critical shortages. Although the reporting system employed is not usually of the desired quality, the brigades rarely experience difficulties in Classes I and III management. The primary area of difficulty for most brigades tends to be Class IV and V management. Reporting is generally limited to forecasts and is often not timely or accurate. Brigades generally experience difficulty in controlling Class IV stocks in forward areas. Management of this critical asset from its delivery to its police is not well practiced. Class V stocks often require cross-leveling. When organizations have not routinely been reporting status of on-hand stocks, the brigade experiences difficulty in achieving cross-leveling in a timely manner.

TECHNIQUE(S):
Practice organization status reporting at home station. Emphasize submitting timely and accurate reports. Use the format in FM 10-14-2.

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