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301st Area Support Group

During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, units of the 301st Area Support Group, 77th RSC were essential command and control elements providing transportation and equipment to all areas of the battlefield. They also provided military intelligence units and direct logistics support to combat units and combat service support operations.

When they responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, the 140th Quartermaster Company, part of the 301st Area Support Group, constructed a temporary morgue at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx.

The range of military operations encompasses operations in peacetime, conflict, and war. ASG units support operations across the range of military operations. Though ASG elements function in a peacetime environment, they must be ready to quickly transition from peace to operations other than war and war. ASG units may provide support to combat-ready forces in their crisis support or power projection role. Selected ASG elements may augment the COSCOM or DISCOM when support requirements exceed their support capabilities. They may deploy from a forward presence site in response to a crisis or remain at that forward site to receive and process follow-on forces. ASGs may tailor a slice of support to set up a forward support base or provide support at an intermediate staging area. ASG units may also locate in a friendly nation outside the supported CINC's region or operate a support base from amphibious shipping or mobile sea bases.

Conflicts can prompt US intervention. Even nonhostile situations can require the use of military forces in some form. Operational level support is required when the size of the force exceeds the capability of the deployed force's logistics support structure. OLS is also required when a significant support structure is required offshore, in a lodgment area, or in a third country support base. If prestock supply points or facilities are located in a third country or afloat, ASG elements may deploy during the initial stage of deployment. ASGs, through the Logistics Support Element, connect the nation's industrial base to its combat power. ASG staffs must plan to meet the requirements across the range of military operations of conflicts that span the continuum of military operations. They must maintain the ability to respond globally to contingencies across the scope of military operations.

ASG units may employ at an intermediate staging base near airfields. When distances prevent a smooth flow of support, an ISB may have to be established to assure continuity of support. A task force or task organized ASB could be tasked to operate an ISB. ISBs allow supported tactical and operational commanders time to gather additional intelligence on the AO and finalize plans following briefings and rehearsals. They also provide time during which units may redistribute and finalize their accompanying loads. Deploying soldiers can recuperate after long trips from their home station. ISBs may also be used as a staging area from which to deploy NEO evacuation forces. They can also serve as a safe haven for evacuees until further evacuation can be arranged to the US. ASG organizations may be tasked to deploy to, set up support facilities at, and operate an ISB.

The use of CS and CSS elements is more effective than the use of force in achieving political, economic, and psychological goals. A logistics structure supporting operations other than war may be austere or it may be the leading and primary element of the operation. In operations other than war, logistics elements often precede combat and CS forces into the AO. In fact, CSS elements may be the only forces deployed. Conventional levels of CSS support elements are often bypassed. CSS elements from corps or OLS are often deployed first. OLS elements may be preferred because they are not tied to a scenario or to a habitually supported division. In addition, they have already established direct contact with the industrial base. Attached CA teams may have assured foreign nation support.

Humanitarian assistance programs attempt to lessen the results of natural or man-made disasters or other endemic conditions. They are usually limited in scope or duration. Army CSS units may respond to requests for immediate help from foreign governments or international agencies. ASG elements could be tasked to provide logistics support to humanitarian assistance efforts. Logistics efforts may be focused toward helping to reduce human pain, disease, suffering, hunger, hardship, accidents or privation. For example, ASG units may rig supplies for airdrop to remote areas.

The national shift from forward deployed to a force projection strategy has resulted in a refocus on the use of Army resources for domestic support operations. Civil authorities have the primary authority and responsibility for disasters and domestic emergencies. The National Guard has primary responsibility to provide military assistance in its state. When state and National Guard resources require supplementation, and when requested by the governor, the Army will assist civil authorities. The Army plays a subordinate and supporting role to lead civilian agencies.

ASG supply, field service, and maintenance elements and CA teams can respond to natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, typhoons, tornadoes, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, or volcanic eruptions. ASG elements may be tasked to provide disaster assistance to US civilians. Supply elements may provide food, water, and shelter. Attached fire fighting teams and utilities teams may help contain natural disasters and restore civilian services. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has the lead for coordinating federal disaster assistance.

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