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Chapter 7

Field Services Support

Field services enhance the quality of life of service personnel. They affect the health, sanitation, welfare, and morale of soldiers. ASGs provide field services on an area support basis to units within or traveling through the ASG AO. They also provide backup field services support to the COSCOM. Field services include field feeding, water purification, airdrop, mortuary affairs, laundry and shower, and clothing and light textile repair. Whenever possible, ASGs use the resources indigenous to the AO to offset requirements for field services support.




The requirement for field services support and subsequent deployment of field services organizational elements depend on the availability of similar services in the AO. Whenever possible, CA teams will contract for field services support to offset requirements to deploy ASG field services elements.


The ASG's field services mission will be dictated by the situation and requirements to support operations other than war or war. Essentially, field services are provided to enhance soldier quality of life. Table 7-1 lists the mission capabilities of units that may be attached to ASG organizations to provide field services.


Requirements may require a support organization of teams, detachments, or platoons, rather than complete units. For example, a field services unit can be attached to a multifunctional ASB or functional S&S battalion. Though the field services unit is designed to support 18,500 troops, the unit's organization includes seven shower teams and two laundry sections. This organization lends itself to employment in support of diverse situations, to include operations other than war. (Teams from a Force Provider company may be attached to an ASB tasked to set up and operate force provider modules at an intermediate staging base. Teams from a Force Provider Company may later form part of the slice of support for civilians during domestic support operations or for US and allied forces during peacekeeping support operations. As the theater matures, a complete field services unit may be attached to a multifunctional ASB or functional S&S battalion.

An airdrop supply detachment can be attached to an ASB operating an intermediate staging base to prepare supplies to airdrop on a daily basis into the AO in support of insurgency and counterinsurgency operations. In a mature theater, a heavy airdrop supply company and airdrop equipment repair and supply company are attached to an S&S battalion.

Attachment of an MA company to an S&S battalion depends on whether mortuary support exists in the AO. The norm will be to immediately fly remains to a CONUS mortuary.


ASG field services support depends upon force structure requirements, field services work loads, and the availability of HN or contractor support in the AO. Airdrop resupply requirements depend on the situation and when resupply LOCs can be established. MA support depends on the MA subprogram in effect and whether the situation prohibits immediate evacuation of remains to CONUS. Laundry and shower support depend on an adequate water supply. Whenever possible, ASG S&S branch personnel, HNS logistics directorate personnel, and CA teams will plan and coordinate ways to use support existing in the AO to offset deployment of field services support elements.


ASG supply and services branch personnel coordinate with the HNS logistics directorate and attached CA teams in determining which field services can be offset by HNS or local contracts. Table 7-2 lists areas for S&S branch personnel to consider when planning whether to deploy field services support elements and which elements to deploy.

S&S branch personnel coordinate site requirements with the ROC (ASG). They provide the ROC (ASG) with a logistics support overlay depicting locations and scheduled time for field services support. S&S branch personnel provide technical advice and assistance to subordinate S&S branch personnel and field services units. They ensure compliance with directed policies, procedures, and the service support order. They provide status reports to the ASG commander and support operations staff on shortages in support. They also recommend shifts in supported customer lists to enable a shift in priority from providing field services support to providing supplies.

As required, S&S branch personnel coordinate with MCTs on requirements to move rigged loads to departure airfields. They coordinate water requirements with supporting engineer elements for shower and laundry support. They coordinate with an RTF on shower and laundry requirements to support attrited units at regeneration sites.


HN logistics directorate personnel coordinate with the ASG'S CA battalion relative to military requirements for and acquisition of support to offset requirements for field services. For example, CA teams may contract for general custodial services, to include laundry, barber, and other service to support peacekeeping forces.


FM 101-10-1/2 provides airdrop resupply planning factors. S&S branch personnel can use these factors to determine the airdrop supply and airdrop equipment repair force structure needed to support the work load and the type of airdrop delivery. FM 10-500-1 describes airdrop requests procedures, recovery and evacuation procedures, and planning considerations.

To provide more timely response to crisis situations and emergency requests, the heavy airdrop supply company can maintain a small stock of prorogued high-priority supplies, such as ammunition, medical supplies, and rations. The EAC support command MMC can assist ASG S&S branch personnel in planning airdrop equipment operational projects for selected high-risk theaters.


The Joint Mortuary Affairs Office provides guidance on MA support of allied and enemy dead. Moving remains to the rear area depends on the transportation available and the work load at each of the collection points. Prior coordination with the Military Airlift Command is required to arrange for air evacuation of remains to CONUS port of entry mortuaries.


Other field services are provided by a field services company designed to support 11,351 troops. While the TOE is designed to provide seven shower teams and two laundry sections, requirements may necessitate further splitting or tailoring company elements. The modular design of force provider equipment helps to offset the limitations of the field services company's TOE design.


Future conflicts may erupt on short notice in remote areas without existing logistics facilities. Some field services are required on the battlefield at the onset of conflicts. Aerial resupply ensures that critical supplies and equipment are made available to support our forces following initial airdrop of accompanying equipment in supplies. MA services maintain the morale of service personnel and comply with the rules of land warfare, international law, and international agreements. Whenever possible, other field services are provided through HNS or local contracts and as the tactical situation permits. They help maintain the health, morale, and welfare of service personnel. Field services include:

  • Airdrop.
  • MA.
  • Bakery service.
  • Shower.
  • Laundry.
  • Renovation.
  • Decontamination.


The longer the LOC and the more vulnerable land supply lines become, the greater will be the need for emergency airdrop resupply support. Airdrop resupply operations can extend all LOCs. They add flexibility to the distribution system. Depending upon requirements, ammunition, bottled water, individual rations, and protective outer garments can be airdropped to support US soldiers when land LOCs are disrupted. Aerial delivery operations may also provide emergency relief operations supplies for refugees and surrendering enemy personnel. Prerigging emergency items ensures immediate delivery. The EAC support command MMC monitors the status of requests for rigging equipment and containers. Until convoy resupply operations can be established, every supply unit should set up a sling load area to rig supplies. Rigging procedures are in FM 10-500 series manuals. ASG airdrop units support resupply operations in the ASG area of operations and in corps areas on order.

Preplanned Support

Contingency items to support emergency aerial delivery are stored in depots and warehouses. S&S branch staff officers can estimate airdrop work load and air delivery equipment stockage levels based upon planning factors in FM 101-10-1/2. Preplanned airdrop resupply requests can be programmed in advance to support initial insertion of a combat unit or a division task force into an area with an undeveloped logistics base. Prerigged critical supplies and equipment can be set up as an operational project to support SOFs or a contingency. The MMC must have the authority to release requested rigging items stockpiled in CONUS depots.

Immediate Airdrop Resupply Request

These requests result from unanticipated, urgent, or priority requirements. Immediate airdrop resupply missions can be critical to a tactical mission or to the survival of a unit. The airlift control center either diverts or cancels preplanned missions or generates a standby sortie.

ASG Supporting Units

A heavy airdrop supply company and supporting airdrop equipment repair and supply company can be assigned to the ASG's S&S battalion. These companies typically operate at or near a major Air Force terminal. FM 10-500-9 describes the operations of these units. The ASG coordinates the ground transportation to get supplies to the heavy airdrop supply unit and then to the departure airfield. For example:

  • The heavy airdrop supply company focuses on providing airdrop resupply support to elements in the corps and to forward areas when corps light airdrop supply units are unable to provide airdrop resupply support. Personnel assigned to this unit can pack parachutes and rig containers and platform loads up to 42,000 pounds to airdrop 200 short tons of supplies per day. They help load supplies and equipment into the aircraft. An airdrop supply detachment can be attached to provide increased capabilities.
  • The airdrop equipment repair and supply company provides airdrop supplies and equipment, to include parachutes and airdrop platforms. It provides airdrop equipment repair and supply support to the heavy airdrop supply company and to corps light airdrop supply companies allocated to the supported corps. It also provides DS and GS maintenance of airdrop equipment.


The unit receiving airdrop resupply is responsible for recovering and initially evacuating airdrop equipment to the nearest salvage collection point. Aerial delivery equipment improperly stored by field personnel can become unserviceable. Recovered equipment must be evacuated to the airdrop equipment repair and supply company. The corps light airdrop supply company retains serviceable items. Unserviceable items are further retrograded to the airdrop repair and supply company in the EAC support command. The CMMC coordinates this retrograde with the supporting EAC support command MMC. FM 101-10-1/2 provides a table that can be used to compute estimated recovery rates of air delivery equipment.

NBC Concerns

There are no decontamination procedures for removing contamination from the nylon components of airdrop equipment. Contaminated equipment that cannot be decontaminated must be disposed of in accordance with FM 3-5. Contaminated airdrop equipment is not allowed on board an airdrop aircraft. Indoor storage facilities and protective cover for items stored in the open reduce the requirement to decontaminate airdrop equipment.


MA subprograms provide for the search, recovery, identification, and disposition of the remains of US military, allied, and enemy dead and their personal effects. MA support can be tailored to the tactical situation. Depending upon the MA subprogram in effect, remains may be evacuated to a mortuary or to a temporary cemetery for processing and disposition.

Overseas mortuaries can provide initial care and services for remains before evacuating them to CONUS. Remains are evacuated to mortuaries in the theater for shipment out of theater as long as transportation permits. In recent OOTW, remains have been evacuated directly from the battlefield to CONUS port of entry mortuaries. During combat, the commander of the lowest organizational element is responsible for the initial search within his area to find, initially identify, and evacuate deceased personnel. When the situation prohibits immediate evacuation to CONUS, remains may have to be temporarily interred within the theater. When possible, the use of temporary cemeteries will be confined to OLS. A EAC support command MA company can operate two temporary cemeteries or one in-theater mortuary and one personal effects depot. FM 10-63 provides detailed guidance on handling deceased personnel in theaters of operations.

Mortuary Affairs Company

An MA company may be assigned or attached to the S&S battalion of an ASG. It sets up collection points throughout the ASG area. This company is allocated on the basis of one company per approximately 166,000 soldiers in the theater at OLS. ASG collection points and personal effects depot also receive and process remains and personal effects evacuated to them by corps. The MA company consists of a--

Collection Platoon. The collection platoon can operate five area collection points in the theater army area. Collection point sites should be near the MSR and a medical unit. In urban areas, collection points could set up operations in a funeral parlor, an ice plant, a cold storage facility, or a house. Each collection point can receive and conduct initial identification for approximately 20 remains per day. When required and authorized by higher headquarters, they conduct or assist in mass casualty burials.

Personal Effects Depot Detachment. This detachment operates the personal effects depot in support of the theater. Personal effects depot personnel receive, inventory, store, and process personal effects of deceased, missing, captured, and medically evacuated US personnel as well as deceased allied and enemy personnel.

Temporary Cemetery or Mortuary Platoons. During the mortuary affairs program, two cemetery or mortuary platoons can receive remains from collection points throughout the theater. They can conduct additional identification processing and inter approximately 200 remains per day at each of the two temporary cemeteries. HNS and EPW personnel may be used in the interment process and to maintain cemeteries.

During the concurrent return program, these platoons combine to operate one theater evacuation point or one in-theater mortuary. TDA augmentation is required to provide civil service embalmers and identification specialists. HNS may be used to augment administrative and maintenance functions.

NBC Concerns

Remains of personnel killed by NBC warfare will not be evacuated from the contaminated area until mortuary affairs units have decontaminated the remains. The high number of deaths may require trench burials in the contaminated areas. Disinterment and decontamination can begin when the tactical and evacuation situation permits.


Bread or bread-like products are essential components of group ration meals. Pouch bread is the initial source on the battlefield. At the unit level, the M59 field range outfit can be used to bake biscuits, rolls, and cornbread. Depending upon the tactical situation, fresh baked bread or bread products may be provided either by HNS bakeries or existing AAFES bakeries attached to the GS supply company of a subordinate S&S battalion.


Soldiers are to receive bath service support at least once a week and more often under extreme battlefield conditions. Supported personnel assist insetting up shower equipment. Some bath teams operate independently and do not provide a clothing exchange service. Others provide baths, clothing exchange, and, if necessary, delousing service. FM 21-10 discusses delousing operations.

In arid regions, the parent battalion coordinates with the supporting MCT to have water delivered to the bath site. Approximately 1,100 gallons per hour are needed for each nine shower head bath unit. The parent battalion coordinates with a supporting engineer unit for preparing the water site. Though bath water can be nonpotable, it must be free of waterborne disease-producing parasites. When in doubt, request preventive medicine support in determining the safety of the water for bathing.


Fixed, permanent laundry facilities may be available in the AO. If available, commercial or HN laundry and renovation services should be used. Contracts may be let to have civilians or HN personnel operate commercial laundries in support of requirements.

In areas with no existing laundry facilities, a field services company, DS may be attached to a subordinate S&S battalion or ASB to support organizational laundry requirements. Its two laundry sections have the capability to process 7.2 pounds of laundry per soldier per week in support of 11,351 troops.

Battalion S4s request organizational laundry support. The sections launder organizational laundry items separately so that the same items that were sent to the laundry can be returned to the unit. Supported units are responsible for delivering and picking up organizational laundry. FM 10-280 describes operation of the mobile field laundry.

A GS-level laundry and renovation company may also be attached to a subordinate S&S battalion. This company launders and renovates clothing and lightweight textiles for return to the supply system. For example, seasonal items processed by this company are sent to the general supply company. Reparable items are returned from the corps to this GS laundry and renovation unit for service.

Laundry Site Requirements

Laundry sections need to locate near a water supply. Each laundry section uses about 500 gallons of water an hour. If there is no fresh water supply in the area, laundry sections use a 3,000-gallon collapsible fabric water tank. Laundry sites should be on sloping, well-drained ground that will support laundry trailers and vehicles in any weather. FM 10-280 provides details on site selection. It also describes how to set up, operate, and maintain laundry equipment. FM 10-27-2 provides suggested layouts for laundry sections.

Environmental Waste Water Restriction

AR 700-135 requires approval from the environmental agency in the host country before disposal of laundry waste water. Waste water can be drained into the water downstream from the laundry setup or into drainage ditches or settlement pools.


Renovation includes attaching buttons, slide fasteners, snaps, sewing, and sizing. FM 10-16 describes clothing and textile repair and renovation support. The renovation section of the laundry and renovation platoon repairs clothing and lightweight textiles. Since clothing unfit for issue should be laundered first, the renovation section locates near the laundry sections of the field services company, DS. After clothing has been repaired, it is returned to the laundry sections to be returned with laundered clothing or textiles.


In an NBC environment, NBC decontamination companies decontaminate personnel, equipment, and terrain as prescribed in FM 3-5. They may be tasked to decontaminate stockpiled materiel, facilities, and terrain. Attached to a EAC support command chemical battalion, these companies provide EAC support command units with decontamination support. The ASG's NBC center team coordinates decontamination requirements within the ASG AO.

Contamination Avoidance

ASG subordinate units use contamination avoidance procedures to minimize decontamination requirements. See FM 3-3. For example, protective covers can safeguard supplies and materiel. Maintenance shops segregate contaminated from uncontaminated items to be repaired. Properly designed areas prevent the spread of contaminating agents. The NBC officer in the ASG SPO directorate coordinates contamination avoidance procedures.

ASG Unit Self Decontamination

ASG subordinate units may have to decontaminate themselves with little or no outside help. Mission effectiveness must be balanced against the time and resources needed to provide partial decontamination. Thorough (formerly deliberate) decontamination should only be pursued when the unit is hit by a persistent chemical agent attack. The NBC officer in the ASG SPO directorate advises the commander and supported units concerning contamination detection and decontamination. The NBC element operates the NBC Warning and Reporting System and monitors the status of the command's NBC defense procedures and chemical assets. See FM 3-101, pages 1-6 and 9-1.

ASG unit commanders establish equipment decontamination priorities. Equipment operators and crew personnel use on-board decontamination systems when available. The ASG commander determines which subordinate units will receive decontamination assistance. The sequencing of units, classes of materiel, and specific items to receive decontamination should be documented in the ASG FSOP. The SPO directorate monitors execution of the ASG decontamination program.


Field services help to provide an adequate quality of life for soldiers in the field in terms of feeding, billeting hygiene services, and morale and welfare activities. Support provided differs depending on requirements and the infrastructure existing in the AO. Using force provider modules enable field services personnel to provide support of operations across the operational continuum.


Force provider modules may be deployed into underdeveloped theaters to support soldier reception. BSB and ASBs may use them to support reception, staging, and onward movement operations. ASBs may use them to support intermediate staging operations. S&S and ASBs may us them to support truck drivers and passengers at convoy support centers or trailer transfer point rest sites along MSRs. They may also be used in support of humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, NEO missions, and regeneration support operations. Force provider equipment may be set-up, operated, and maintained by a staff augmented by local hire personnel.

The force provider is a system that will provide rest and relief for soldiers who have suffered stress associated combat. One force provider company operates up to six force provider modules that can be combined to support a brigade sized force. The force provider is METT-T dependent. Force Provider is operated by a quartermaster force provider company.

The force provider provides support to staging facilities, troop movements, and reconstitution efforts. It also provides hot meals, showers, laundry service, limited personnel services, and is environmentally controlled. It will be organized as a Type B unit and augmented by contracting, host nation support or borrowed military manpower.


Elements from field services units may deploy to disaster sites to provide personal hygiene services such as showers, laundry, and delousing support. Force provider equipment can be set up to provide billeting and field feeding facilities, showers, laundries, latrines, power generation, and water purification in support of military personnel and civilian populations. This same equipment could be used to provide support during a mass immigration emergency. ASG field services elements could assist in providing the full range of services required to support immigrants for extended periods of time until their repatriation.

Personnel assigned to an airdrop supply company can be tasked to rig emergency food, water, and medical supplies for airdrop to civilian populations cut off from normal supply by natural disasters.

In the event of mass disasters or when mortuary services requirements exceed that available in the civilian community, MA collection unit personnel can assist with search, recovery, evacuation, and identification.


Based on predetermined agreements or contracts, laundry, bath, textile repair, and mortuary affairs support could be provided by civilian firms in the area. In underdeveloped areas or where infrastructure has been destroyed, detachments or teams from ASG field services units could provide laundry, bath, and textile repair support on an area basis to peacekeeping support forces. They could also be tasked to provide these field services in support of foreign nationals. The MA collection company could provide mortuary affairs support throughout the AO. MA personnel could assist with recovery and identification operations.


Airdrop of supplies may be the primary field service provided to insurgent or counterinsurgent forces. To reduce or limit US presence, contracting officer representatives should try to arrange for shower, laundry, and renovation support from in-country resources.


Division or corps level RTFs may need to request regeneration support from the EAC support command. Modular force provider equipment could be shipped to the regeneration site to provide soldier life support areas at the selected regeneration site.

Depending upon the location of the regeneration site and nonavailability of force provider equipment, shower teams and laundry teams from field services companies could be tasked to meet the RTF advance party in a corps rear area site to provide a hot shower and clean clothes soon after arrival of the attrited units.

Due to scarcity of MA trained personnel, MA collection point personnel may be needed to augment corps MA collection capability. In order not to affect the morale of combat weary soldiers, collection points from the MA unit need to setup out of view of other soldier support areas. Local HN mortuaries could provide initial support until remains can be flown to CONUS port of entry mortuaries.

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