Military


Bosnia

Task Force Eagle is the United States' contingent of the multinational Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The mission of SFOR in Bosnia is to deter hostilities and stabilize the peace, contribute to a secure environment by providing a continued military presence, target and coordinate SFOR support to key areas including primary civil implementation organizations, and progress towards a lasting consolidation of peace, without further need for NATO-led forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

When troops deployed into the theater in December 1995, little infrastructure remained in the war-ravaged region. Tent camps were quickly set up, using military and contractor resources, with a simple focus of just getting the troops out of the mud. In time, living conditions were improved to Tier III standards, meaning that the military-issue tents had plywood floors and walls, a wooden frame, electrical outlets and lights, and kerosene heaters.

Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) is an Army program governed by AR 700-137, Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP). It incorporates civilian contractors to augment Army forces and perform selected engineering and logistical service in wartime or contingencies. LOGCAP was designed to provide field services such as laundry, semi-permanent latrine and shower facilities, sewing, transportation, maintenance, and supply. Contractors provided this essential support during OJG.

The LOGCAP contractor, Brown & Root Services Corporation (BRSC), deployed with USAREUR first during OJE. The Corps of Engineers provided contract supervision. A new Army LOGCAP contract was competed under control and supervision of AMC during the transition from OJE to OJG and awarded to Dyncorp effective 20 January 1997. USAREUR elected to retain BRSC as a sole source indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract and eliminate the risk of potential support gaps during the transition to Dyncorp. USAREUR 's IDIQ contract with BRSC replaced LOGCAP for OJG but LOGCAP remained the common term. BRSC employed over 500 US civilians and 5,000 local nationals in the OJG mission.

The base camp construction delays and base services management growing pains during OJE created anxiety and aggravation, but, once BRSC crossed the deployment hurdle into sustainment, most criticism evaporated. BRSC, as the base camp services contractor, assumed the base operations firefighting role and distributed supplies from Guardian Base to all sectors of TF Eagle. Contractor personnel collected and repaired organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) and operated a supply support activity in Hungary. The high expense associated with BRSC support during deployment and base camp construction concerned USAREUR leadership. Therefore, in conjunction with the Corps of Engineers, Defense Contract Management Command, and BRSC, USAREUR established a process in OJE to analyze and validate requirements, verify timely delivery of the products and services, and program and validate costs and quality. The process matured during OJG.

Initial planning called for the establishment of eight to 11 large base camps. The camps were planned and designed by an Engineer Brigade (Corps). The initial concept called for the LOGCAP contractor to construct the base camps. As the deployment drew closer, it was clear that LOGCAP could not construct all the needed camps in the limited time available. The base camp plan was modified to request the support of the US Navy Seabees and Air Force Red Horse construction units for the building of initial base camps and troop bed-down facilities. A Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) and an Air Force Red Horse Squadron responded to provide an initial entry sustainment engineering capability for TFE.

As TFE entered the Former Yugoslavia, it became evident that the original plan for large base camps was not viable. The shortage of suitable base camp locations was the primary problem. Mines, damaged infrastructure, poor road networks, and poor soil conditions limited the potential sites for base camps. Increasing the number of base camps complicated the force protection considerations for TFE, yet at the same time it increased the geographic presence of US forces in and around the Zone of Separation (ZOS).

One crucial question when planning base camps for a force the size of TFE is "how much is enough?" -- or in other words, "what are the standards for base camp construction?" The desired endstate for a base camp was "hardback" tents, Force Provider tents, or modular living areas along with modular or Force Provider latrines and shower facilities. TFE tracked base camp construction by using a tiered approach to camp standards. The tiered system guided base camp development and provided phased improvements in living conditions.

Terrain features and other considerations resulted in the construction of over 30 base camps and Forward Operating Sites (FOS) throughout the US sector. Camp populations ranged from less than 100 to over 2,000 soldiers at each site. Oversight of all base camp construction was accomplished by the US Army Corps of Engineers Base Camp Coordination Agency (BCCA) reporting directly to the 1st Armored Division's Assistant Commander for Support (ADC-S) using a roving Base Camp Assessment Team (BCAT). By D+90 days, US Army and Navy engineers and the LOGCAP contractor, Brown and Root Corporation from Houston, Texas, were successful in constructing semi-permanent base camps with a surprisingly complex infrastructure.

The selection of suitable base camp locations was one of the first tasks facing leaders in Bosnia. Engineers of all types were called upon for their assistance in this task. Army combat engineers in the deployed division were involved in site selection decisions for base camps and recommendations on structural rehabilitation of damaged buildings. Navy Seabee leaders helped with site reconnaissance and rehabilitation decisions. Army civilians deployed by US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) worked closely with Civil Affairs teams to negotiate leases for land and facilities to support base camp development.

A very important consideration was the high water table. Open areas are largely agricultural; the soil in general has low bearing capacity which leads directly to poor trafficability. Use of geo-textile fabric was absolutely essential in the construction of camp access roads and hard-stand parking and maintenance areas.

The most critical local construction material in Bosnia was gravel. The demand for gravel was so great that TFE units were competing with each other in their various requests and contracts for gravel delivery. Without specific guidance, contractors chose to make many short trips to close-in sites even if these sites were not the highest TFE priority. The DIVENG established central control over gravel distribution to increase the likelihood that priority areas received gravel.

Class IV for base camp construction was managed intensively by engineers. An Engineer Brigade monitored and pushed Class IV building materials from Aschaffenburg, GE, into the Task Force Eagle AOR. The Air Force also managed and pushed lumber from Ramstein AFB and, when necessary, used strategic airlift to bring the materials in on time.

The size and nature of TFE base camps varied somewhat over the AOR. In the Tuzla area, three camps had the Army's Force Provider as the basic camp building block. In other locations, standard AFCS designs were used for the sleeping, working and dining areas. Some sites had "UN" containers for use as living and shower facilities. (The "UN" containers are actually standard MILVANs that are remodeled with doors, lights, and heat to hold either sleeping or latrine/shower facilities.)

Sustainment normally signifies consistent stable logistics support by pushing supplies and materiel into the area of responsibility (AOR) at a predictable rate based upon the force structure. On the surface, decreasing the force structure to 8,500 soldiers for Operation Joint Guard (OJG) rather than the 24,000 in Operation Joint Endeavor (OJE) would indicate fewer support issues, but reallocating hardware and materiel from closed base camps and the excess accumulated by the IFOR's 1 st Armored Division (AD) took months.

During late 1998 and early 1999, Task Force Eagle received the most significant construction mission since US forces arrived in Bosnia. Some of the major projects were airfield repair, hospital construction, SEA-huts (Southeast Asia huts) for most troops, two base camp closures, and asphalt road repair. Many smaller projects were completed or are ongoing. The surge of construction was funded with a supplemental appropriation from Congress of about $34 million. Much of the construction was performed during an intensive period that also included Bosnia-Herzegovina elections and transfer of authority to the 1st Cavalry Division. The construction mission was a joint and combined effort of Army combat heavy and mechanized engineers, Navy Seabees, Air Force personnel, allied engineers, USACE, and Brown & Root contractors.

To improve efficiency, save money, and realign base camps, Task Force Eagle closed the Colt and Guardian Base Camps. These closures required that the entire logistics operations be moved from Guardian to Comanche Base Camp. A massive construction effort was required at Comanche that included living areas, a container storage handling area, a direct support maintenance building, a supply and service area building, 50-ton haul roads, a new dining facility, parking areas, and numerous other projects. Some of this construction had to be completed or be well under way so that the 1st Cavalry Division could move directly into Comanche and Eagle Base Camps.

On July 11, 2002 the US Army announced that ITT Industries (NYSE: ITT) has been awarded a $100 million contract to provide force protection services to US Army Europe (USAREUR) Task Force Eagle, located in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Priced options on this contract include an additional $100 million in add-on opportunities, bringing the potential contract total to more than $200 million. Contract work will be performed by ITT's Systems Division, located in Colorado Springs, CO. Under this contract, ITT will provide installation security and force protection at the Task Force Eagle base camps of Eagle Base, Forward Operating Base (FOB) McGovern, FOB Morgan, FOB Conner, and Hill 1326.

On December 2, 2003 SFOR announced the downsizing of the overall SFOR force structure from 12,000 multinational soldiers to 7,000 soldiers in Bosnia. The reduction of troops in the Multi-National Task Force (MNTF) North area of operations will primarily come from the reduction of the U.S. contingent. The US contribution will remain consistent with previous contributions, that is, 15% of the total force in Bosnia. This means that there will be approximately 800 US soldiers in Bosnia. The reorganized SFOR will remain a force capable of maintaining sustained peace and preserving a safe and secure environment. SFOR 15 will continue to build on the achievements of previous IFOR and SFOR rotations in conjunction with government officials, local authorities, and most importantly, the private citizens of Bosnia. The reorganization will involve closing Camp McGovern and Forward Operating Base (FOB) Connor. FOB Morgan and Eagle Base will serve as the two primary bases. SFOR 15 is part of a process, not a final resolution. SFOR 15 does not mark the end of US involvement in Bosnia.

 



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