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FM 71-3
The Armored and Mechanized Infantry Brigade


Section I. Fundamentals
Section II. Deployment
Section III. Theater Reception and Onward Movement
Section IV. Redeployment
Section V. Commander's Guide to Deployment Operations
Section VI. N-Hour Sequence



The PREPO AFLOAT armored brigade is organized to fight successful engagements on any battlefield. It combines the efforts of subordinate battalions to perform tactical tasks as part of a joint task force or combined force. The key to successful operations is the brigades ability to synchronize maneuver battalions and integrate CS and CSS combat multipliers in support of the overall brigade effort.

The primary mission of the armored brigade is to close with and destroy forces using its mobility, firepower, and shock effect. It defeats enemy assaults by defensive fires, obstacles, mines, and counterattacks. The armored brigade is also capable of conducting operations across the range of military operations (peacetime, conflict, and war).


Capabilities of the PREPO AFLOAT armored brigade are:

  • Conduct sustained operations in all environments.
  • Accomplish rapid movement.
  • Exploit success and pursue a defeated enemy as part of a larger formation.
  • Conduct limited security operations (screens and guards).
  • Conduct defensive operations or delays in sector over large areas.
  • Conduct offensive operations.


Due to the density of organic tracked vehicles, the armored brigade has the following limitations:

  • Dense jungle and forests, steep and rugged terrain, and significant water obstacles restrict mobility.
  • Urbanized terrain impedes maneuver.
  • Substantial numbers of heavy equipment limit strategic mobility.
  • Consumes significant amounts of supplies, especially Classes III, V, and IX.

The PREPO AFLOAT armored brigade may be deployed independently; however, it is normally deployed incrementally as part of a larger force. The brigade is assisted by the installation, its higher headquarters, other armed services, the host nation, and units already in the AO. The PREPO AFLOAT brigade must

  • Reassemble rapidly into a division-size force.
  • Establish the basic battle command and liaison functions with the responsible headquarters established in theater.


The PREPO AFLOAT armored brigade uses its unique capabilities to conduct combat operations across the range of military operations. It is required to operate in a wide range of political, military, and geographical environments. Some examples of this wide range of environments armored forces have historically operated in include:

  • A jungle environment during the Vietnam War.
  • The South Pacific in support of amphibious operations during World War II.
  • An urban environment during World War II, Panama in 1989-90, and Somalia in l993.
  • The desert during World War II and the Gulf War.

Tactical missions of the armored brigade involved in a PREPO AFLOAT operation, both in war and OOTW, include the following:

  • Engage and destroy enemy forces using mobility, firepower, and shock effect in coordination with other arms.
  • Conduct offensive and defensive missions.
  • Provide security, reconnaissance, and antiarmor firepower to a light infantry, airmobile, airborne division, or the USMC, during a CONOP.
  • Expand and sustain a lodgment for follow-on forces in coordination with other arms and services.
  • Reinforce a lodgment established by the Army early entry forces or by USMC amphibious assault units.
  • Augment an amphibious deployment or operation.
  • Provide an armored force capability to a Marine Expeditionary Force during a CONOP.
  • Establish a sizable combat force to enable closure of additional forces and support a higher commanders operation or campaign plan.
  • Reinforce an ally with a credible force prior to hostilities, and sustain relations with allies and coalition partners through routine exercises and operations.
  • Conduct a show of force.



During the predeployment (alert) planning phase, unit commanders ensure unit personnel, supplies, and selected equipment are prepared for deployment. They update their automated unit equipment list to reflect actual personnel and equipment deployment posture. They coordinate the disposition of their units remain-behind equipment, and coordinate with the installation commander for support required for deployment that is not within the units organic capability.

During movement to the point of embarkation (POE) phase, units move to the POE IAW port call messages. During the strategic lift phase, units move to the theater of operations in a flow sequenced to facilitate and support the efficient offload of the PREPO AFLOAT ships.


US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), as the strategic deployment manager, is responsible to coordinate the air and sea deployment. Army forces coordinate with the unified command and US Commander-in-Chief Transportation Command (USCINC-TRANS) and other supporting agencies. The Air Mobility Command pre-positions an air terminal movement control team at the aerial port of debarkation (APOD) with the port support activity. This provides unity of effort and accomplishes the required interface with the port operator to clear Army personnel and cargo from the port. The Military Sealift Command (MSC) plans and executes sea deployments. Reports of the movement are made through normal chains of command in accordance with joint operation planning and execution system procedures.

Conduct of Air Deployment

Air deployment is used to transport personnel and selected supplies and equipment from an aerial port of embarkation (APOE) to an APOD in the AO. The time required to transport the force depends on the size of the force, aircraft availability, distance, and throughput considerations. The airlift is accomplished by the Air Mobility Command aboard strategic aircraft and civil contract carriers. The Air Mobility Command determines airflow routing and airflow based on the approved time-phased force deployment data.

Conduct of Sea Deployment

PREPO AFLOAT ships move as directed by the MSC. Ship deployment should accommodate the earliest possible embarkation of the offload preparation party (OPP). The Army service component commander coordinates with USTRANSCOM (MSC) for authorization for OPP to embark PREPO AFLOAT ships. PREPO AFLOAT ships rendezvous with escorts, if assigned, and conduct transit to the marshaling area.


Organizations that assist PREPO AFLOAT armored brigade commanders during deployment are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Movement Control Center

The movement control center (MCC) coordinates transportation support to assist the deploying unit in moving to the POE.


Military installations play a key role in the alert and deployment process. CONUS replacement centers are installations assigned a mobilization mission. The installation commanders at or in the vicinity of POEs provide materiel handling equipment, transportation, security, and other support as requested by the deploying unit. The installation also coordinates updating of the automated unit equipment list.

Aerial Port of Embarkation Operations

The Air Mobility Command exercises overall control of airlift operations at APOEs. The Air Mobility Command tanker airlift control element establishes an airlift operations center at the airfield, with all information related to onload operations coordinated through the airlift operations center.

The departure airfield control group (DACG) is the primary interface with the Air Force at APOEs. A DACG is responsible for coordinating and controlling the outloading of units for deployment or redeployment. A DACG should be pre-positioned as early as possible at the arrival/departure airfield. The DACG is responsible for receiving deploying equipment from the units at the APOE; coordinating with the tanker airlift control element to ensure that cargo and personnel are properly prepared for air shipment; and for delivering cargo to the ready line. Further responsibilities are outlined in FM 55-12.

Coordination between the moving unit, arrival/departure airfield control group (A/DACG), and tanker airlift control element (TALCE) is critical to an orderly deployment of airlift aircraft through the APOE/APOD. The arrival of unit equipment and personnel for onload must be sequenced to avoid bottlenecks at the APOE. Army forces/armored brigade commanders provide an officer at the APOE to coordinate with A/DACG and TALCE the arrival of unit equipment and personnel.

If required, an ammunition accountability element may be deployed to the APOE to provide technical assistance, quality assurance, and safety support during the uploading of ammunition. These elements also serve to provide asset visibility and accountability to the national inventory control point and the CINC.

Seaport of Embarkation Operations

The Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) exercises overall responsibility for CONUS and selected outside CONUS (OCONUS) sea ports. MTMC operates the port and supervises the operation of post support activity (PSA) assigned to the various ports.

MTMC provides the following at other than civil ports:

  • Deployment control units are non-deployable Forces Command (FORSCOM) or MTMC organizations that assist deploying units with deployment requirements.
  • MTMC Tiger Team is designed to temporarily operate a seaport of embarkation (SPOE) until the transportation terminal unit (TTU) is fully operational. When alerted, the Tiger Team immediately deploys to the SPOE to coordinate contracts, set up operations, and begin receiving cargo. The teams composition is determined by MTMC based on mission requirements. On activation, the team is responsible for opening the port and conducting operations to support the deployment of military forces. Command authority remains with the team until the TTU commander arrives and assumes responsibility.
  • TTUs are the MTMC's traffic management representative at the seaport with the specific responsibility of monitoring DOD commercial contract cargo movements to include unit equipment, resupply, and retrograde shipments. The TTUs provide MTMC with the capability to expand the number of ports available for sustained seaport operations. The TTU conducts water terminal operations at established commercial ports in which existing equipment and manpower are available to perform actual terminal operations.

Port Support Activity

The port support activity (PSA) is a temporary military augmentation organization comprised of personnel with specific skills that aid the port commander in receiving, processing, and clearing cargo at both the SPOE and the seaport of debarkation (SPOD). Stateside installations are delegated specific ports to which they must provide the PSA and other logistic support for deploying personnel. Installation commanders responsible for deployments should not, where practical, task deploying units to support the PSA organization. The PSA is under OPCON of the port commander.

The PSA ensures that the equipment of deploying units is ready to be loaded onto vessels. PSA functions may include performing maintenance, correcting configured equipment loads, providing security for sensitive cargo, and driving requirements within the marshaling area.

The PSA establishes the necessary communications to ensure the proper flow of cargo and provides daily operational reports of cargo received, maintenance performed, and operational problems to the port commander.


PREPO AFLOAT force projection operations follow a general sequence, although the stages often overlap in space and time. These operations seldom begin with a clear idea of the entire package or purpose. Often, deployment requirements develop over time and with adjustments. Enemy actions further change the equation. PREPO AFLOAT force projection operations do not end when the brigade arrives in theater. They end when the mission is completed and the last soldier returns to home station.

Predeployment Activities

Predeployment activities include the planning and preparation for an eventual PREPO AFLOAT operation prior to notification, and those actions undertaken upon notification that lead to the actual deployment. Successful PREPO AFLOAT operations rely on trained, equipped, and sustained units and soldiers. The brigade METL should reflect tasks associated with conducting any CONOP. Training should emphasize critical tasks associated with CONOP and PREPO AFLOAT operations. Brigades assigned missions that use PREPO AFLOAT operations should consider the following activities as part of their planning and preparation:

  • Establish, develop, train, and refine alert notification procedures.
  • Conduct periodic operational readiness inspections.
  • Inspect and maintain overseas movement packers per division and Army regulations.
  • Maintain and refine packing lists and load plans.
  • Prepare hand receipts and turnover of PREPO AFLOAT equipment.
  • Maintain effective family support group structures.
  • Coordinate required PAO/media interface.
  • Establish a rear-detachment structure and identify procedures for rear-detachment operations.

The critical stage of predeployment activities begins when the brigade is alerted for a PREPO AFLOAT CONOP. The objective for the brigade commander and staff is to task organize the brigade and quickly develop and refine operational concepts. The need to plan and prepare for a strategic deployment is a particularly demanding aspect of this stage.

The PREPO AFLOAT CONOP actually begins when the unit is notified to deploy. The division or other higher headquarters of the brigade initiates execution. This execution sequence is called the N-hour sequence and is discussed in Section VI of this appendix.

Echelonment of Forces

Echeloning is organizing the units for movement. Generally, the brigade organizes into the four echelons described below.

Offload Preparation Party

The offload preparation party (OPP) is a temporary task organization that consists of maintenance, embarkation personnel, and equipment operators from the PREPO AFLOAT armored brigade and support elements. The OPPs task is to prepare the equipment onboard the PREPO AFLOAT ships for debarkation at the SPOD. Once alerted, the OPP deploys to join the PREPO AFLOAT ships prior to their sailing, during transit, or when the ships arrive at the SPOD. Ideally, the OPP should deploy to join the PREPO AFLOAT ships at least 96 hours (four days) prior to SPOD closure. If this is not feasible, the OPP should be positioned in the marshaling area and aboard the PREPO AFLOAT ships as soon as possible.

On arrival aboard a PREPO AFLOAT ship, the OPP OIC reports to the PREPO AFLOAT ship master to obtain specific directions concerning shipboard activities. The OPPs responsibilities and priorities are established by the supported CINC/Army forces and must be in concert with the requirements established by the ship's master. The relationship between the OPP and the ships master parallels that of an embarked unit commander and the commanding officer of amphibious ships. The OIC of the OPP conveys the offload priorities, established by the CINC/Army forces commander, to the PREPO AFLOAT ships master and contracting officer technical representative. These priorities define the objectives for offload preparation by the OPP.

The OPP is responsible for preparing the ships offload systems, lighting, and embarked supplies and equipment for offload. OPP responsibilities include initial depreservation and preparation of supplies and equipment. The OPP must be thoroughly familiar with the configuration of the ship and the ships load plans.

The OPP consists of representatives from all units of the deploying force. Personnel within an OPP are organized into teams capable of operating independently aboard each ship. Each team is functionally organized and has a team captain who is responsible for OPP functions aboard that ship.

Advance Party

An advance party is formed from the brigade, division, and echelon above division support elements. The advance party also includes the US Army Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command (USAMCCOM) ammunition support team. The ammunition support team provides accountability and visibility of ammunition arriving in theater. The primary tasks of the advance party are to arrange for the reception of the main body and airlifted elements, rendezvous with the PREPO AFLOAT ships to continue depreservation procedures, and assist in port support and discharge operations. The advance party deploys before the main body, and should include (as a minimum) battery teams, fuel handlers, drivers (wheeled and tracked), and property book and supply personnel. Upon arrival, the commanders advance party assumes command of the OPP.

Main Body

The main body is the balance of forces that remain after the advance party has deployed. The deployment of the main body is sequenced to receive equipment and supplies, move to the tactical assembly area, and prepare for continued operations. The main body's flow must be uninterrupted to permit expeditious closure, reception, and onward movement. The logistical support must be consistent with the size of the force as it builds in theater. Forces should arrive in theater no more than 24 hours prior to arrival of the first PREPO AFLOAT ship.

Rear Echelon Force

This is the remainder of the brigade that does not deploy. The rear echelon force assists the advance party and main body with their deployment from home station, establishes the rear echelon detachment, and ensures the accountability of nondeploying assets and equipment.



Theater reception and onward movement is a crucial phase of a PREPO AFLOAT operation. The Army forces commander is responsible for theater reception and onward movement operations that include

  • Preparing the reception and onward movement plan.
  • Synchronizing air movement and PREPO AFLOAT ship arrival.
  • Establishing operating locations and facilities in the marshaling area.
  • Coordinating arrival and discharge of equipment and supplies from the PREPO AFLOAT ships (in port, across a beach, or a combination of both).
  • Coordinating arrival and offload of airlifted elements.
  • Providing personnel, equipment, and transportation to clear the ports, move forces to final destination, document actions, and provide reports.
  • Providing communications and security.
  • Providing initial life support.
  • Assisting the PREPO AFLOAT armored brigade in preparing for its operational mission.

The marshaling area is an area of sufficient size and facilities (airfields, ports, beaches, staging and assembly areas) to perform the complex tasks of arrival, offload, equipment and personnel linkup and staging, supply distribution, assembly, and preparation of forces for employment.


The US Army Materiel Command (USAMC) provides the logistics support elements (LSE) to deploy to the marshaling area. Early LSE deployment is necessary to provide maintenance technical assistance, equipment accountability and transfer, as well as other logistics support as needed. The LSE provides a current tactical standard Army management information system (STAMIS) baseline and a printed hand receipt by unique unit identification code. The LSE is normally task organized after issuance of the WO and deployment of the concept for deployment. LSE (minus) should be programmed early within the time-phased force deployment data and will accompany and receive initial life support from the Army Transportation Composite Group. The PREPO AFLOAT contingency force provides an LO to the LSE. As the theater matures, the LSE must continue to receive life support from the theater base.

The United States Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA) is provided an LSE for coordination and control of Class VIII supplies. The USAMMA LSE depends on Army forces for life support until the deployment of the Theater Medical Materiel Management Center and/or a medical logistics battalion. Upon completion of the mission, the USAMMA LSE receives assignment instructions from USAMMA with the senior medical command and control organization in the theater.


The theater reception and onward movement phase begins on arrival of the first PREPO AFLOAT ship or the first aircraft of the main body at the designated APOD/SPOD. This phase ends when:

  • Adequate equipment and supplies are offloaded and issued to awaiting units.
  • Command and control communications are established.
  • Units have moved to the tactical assembly area.
  • The Army forces commander reports that all essential elements of the armored brigade have attained combat readiness.

Simultaneous or subsequent tactical operations by the brigade and movements to those operations are not considered part of the PREPO AFLOAT operation.


The OPP remains with the ship until discharge operations are complete. During offloading, team members remain aboard to form the nucleus of the debarkation team, augmented as required by contingency force personnel who arrive in the airlifted element. After the ship is offloaded, OPP personnel return to their parent unit.


Each national inventory control point and the service item control center at the Army Petroleum Center accounts for and manages PREPO AFLOAT stocks. The standard depot system and the tactical STAMIS maintain the custodial records of cargo aboard each of the PREPO AFLOAT ships.

To facilitate rapid temporary transfer less Class V during deployment (such as within 48 hours), tactical STAMIS will be on board each ship. When a ship arrives at a port, stocks are discharged in quantities as determined by the theater commander. Temporary accountability of these stocks transfers from USAMC and USAMMA to the deploying unit.

During the redeployment phase, prior to returning to home station, equipment and supplies on the tactical STAMIS hardware are turned in to a designated site within the theater of operations. Detailed hand-off and accountability procedures are developed to ensure the most effective and efficient property transfer occurs to support the warfighter at deployment and the reconstitution of PREPO AFLOAT capability at redeployment.


During PREPO AFLOAT operations, the Army Transportation Composite Group is responsible for planning and executing transportation operations in the marshaling area. This includes operation of the APOD/SPOD and all onward movements of personnel, supplies, and equipment from the APOD and SPOD. Army terminal operations at the SPOD include loading, unloading, and handling in-transit supplies, equipment, and personnel between any of the various modes of transportation. Terminals are established for cargo being transferred at beginning, destination, and in-transit points.

Movement Control

A movement control element deploys with the Army Transportation Composite Group to coordinate the onward movement of supplies, personnel, and equipment.

Aerial Ports of Debarkation

Once the aircraft are offloaded, personnel and cargo come under Army forces control for reception and onward movement. The transportation composite group and movement control element coordinate this phase.

The APOD is located within the marshaling area and, ideally, in proximity to the SPOD. APOD operations must meet requirements of the TALCE and the arrival airfield control group (AACG). Designation of offload ramps and holding areas is accomplished jointly by the TALCE and AACG. Holding areas are established sufficiently clear of the offload ramps to avoid congestion and to facilitate loading passengers and equipment from the arriving units. Facilities are also established for AACG and TALCE (command and control, communications, and life support).

Other Air Operations

Air cargo transfer operations within the theater also take place at other Air Force and Army air terminals. The Army forces may be responsible for loading and unloading Air Force and Army aircraft at forward or small austere landing fields that are not a regularly scheduled stop for theater airlift. An Army cargo transfer company or AACG can provide this capability.

Arrival Airfield Control Group

The AACG is responsible for the reception and, in conjunction with the movement control team, for the coordination of onward movement. The AACG provides an interim capability until the arrival of the air traffic movement control team.

Sea Ports of Debarkation

PREPO AFLOAT deployment to a port with sufficient pier space and staging areas to accommodate the simultaneous pierside offload of two or more PREPO AFLOAT ships is the preferred method of discharge. Where possible, the best unconstrained port in the AO should be selected. Unconstrained ports have multiple deep draft shipping pier space, clear shipping channels, land-based cranes, and sufficient staging area. If sufficient unconstrained ports are not available, then conduct discharge operations using a combination of unimproved ports (logistics-over-the-shore [LOTS] and/or over a bare beach).

Port Operations

Ocean water terminals are classified as fixed-port facilities, unimproved port facilities, or bare-beach facilities. Offloading PREPO AFLOAT ships pierside in port accelerates throughput, requires less personnel than a beach operation, and reduces the potential for damage or loss to supplies and equipment. Ports are far less susceptible to the effects of sea and weather conditions. On the other hand, port operations require more interface with the host nation and increase the likelihood of encountering restrictions on handling and transporting ammunition, POL, and hazardous cargo. Civilian ship traffic, labor unions, and general port congestion must also be considered.

Fixed-Port Facilities

Fixed-port terminals are an improved network of cargo-handling facilities specifically designed for transfer of ocean going freight, vessel discharge operations, and port clearance. Deep-draft ocean-going vessels come alongside a pier, ship, or quay and discharge cargo directly onto the apron. Most cargo is moved into open or covered in-transit storage to await terminal clearance. Selected cargo may be discharged directly to land transport. Fixed-port facilities may also have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to support cargo discharge and port clearance operations.

Unimproved Port Facilities

Unimproved port facilities are those that are less productive than a fixed-port facility. Any one or a combination of the following conditions qualifies a port as an unimproved port facility and may require augmentation from a terminal service company and shallow-draft lighting to discharge vessels. The conditions include:

  • Port not designed for the type cargo carried (such as containers).
  • Lack of permanent fixed equipment or the wrong type of equipment in working areas.
  • Berth length and/or water depth alongside the berth if insufficient for the type vessel used.
  • Exposure to the elements and passing traffic that hinders vessel operations.
  • Damaged fixed port.

Bare-Beach Operations

In bare-beach operations, Army lighting is used to transport equipment and cargo from ship to shore for discharge across the beach. No facilities, equipment, or infrastructure may exist at the site to discharge cargo or conduct port clearance operations. Beach terminals require specifically selected sites where cargo is delivered by lighting to or across the beach and into marshaling yards or onto waiting clearance transportation.


LOTS loading and unloading operations are conducted:

  • Over unimproved shorelines; through fixed ports partially destroyed.
  • Through shallow-draft ports not accessible to deep-draft shipping.
  • Through fixed ports that are inadequate without using LOTS capabilities.

For more information on LOTS, see Joint Pub 4-06.1.

Port Support Activity

The PSA is provided by the PREPO AFLOAT contingency force and is OPCON to the Army Transportation Composite Group. The PSA includes the OPP and additional personnel, such as drivers and mechanics. The PSA assists in the throughput of the PREPO AFLOAT equipment.

Inland Terminal Operations

Inland terminals are established for transshipment of supplies, equipment, and personnel along theater air, inland waterways, rail, and motor transport routes.

The senior movement control element recommends terminals serving rail and inland waterways along existing routes whenever sufficient lift capability cannot be provided by motor and air.

POL and Ammunition

POL and ammunition should not be held in the port or port overflow areas, but should be transported directly to the storage sites.

Port Authority

If the host-nation port authority is not functioning, the MTMC or Army Transportation Composite Group assumes this responsibility. The Army forces designate a port LO to provide coordination between the contingency force and the host nation. The port LO advises the port authority regarding cargo characteristics (including hazardous cargo) and offload requirements that may impact on port activities. Additionally, the port LO coordinates with the host-nation support representatives regarding

  • Environmental data (tides, winds, obstructions), navigational aids, and harbor information required for safe operations.
  • Berths and/or anchorages.
  • Tug/pilot services.
  • Fire fighting services.
  • Pierside services.
  • Materiel handling equipment services.

Motor Transport

The Army Transportation Composite Group provides motor transport assets to move unit equipment, supplies, and personnel to the tactical assembly area until the corps support group (if any) is established.

Motor transport terminals are located at both ends and at intermediate points along line-haul routes serving as the connecting link between local-haul and line-haul service or where terrain necessitates a change in the carrier or mode. Cargo transfer companies and TTPs can also provide limited local-hauling service only in and around motor terminals.



For PREPO AFLOAT operations, redeployment is the movement of the PREPO AFLOAT forces from a theater of operations to follow-on designated CONUS or OCONUS locations. Prior to redeployment, the PREPO AFLOAT forces turn in all issued PREPO

AFLOAT equipment and supplies to USAMC/USAMMA or designated agencies. They retain to accompany troops (TAT) and not authorized pre-positioning (NAP) equipment and supplies.

This section does not discuss the total process of redeployment. The scope is limited to a discussion of those areas that affect the PREPO AFLOAT force. For additional information on redeployment refer to FM 100-17.


The redeployment process begins after combat operations and reconstitution begins when the force closes upon the redeployment assembly area. During redeployment, contracts for transportation of materiel and maintenance may be used extensively to regenerate the force. The force requests the supporting movement control agency to provide movement authorization to move from the tactical assembly area to the redeployment assembly area. Redeployment for the PREPO AFLOAT forces is conducted in seven phases:

  • Reconstitution for strategic movement.
  • Movement to redeployment assembly area.
  • Turn-in of PREPO AFLOAT equipment and supplies to USAMC/USAMMA.
  • Movement to POE.
  • Strategic lift.
  • POD reception.
  • POD onward movement.



The OPP is a temporary task organization of support personnel boarded on each ship prior to departure from its home port (siting) location to prepare the afloat equipment and supplies for off-load at the contingency port. The task organization for the OPP differs for each vessel due to ship characteristics and equipment loads. Normally, the brigade commander provides one officer to serve over all as the OIC of the OPP, and a subordinate OIC for each OPP detachment per ship involved in the operation.

Each roll-on/roll-off ship has its own separate OPP element with approximately 20-25 mechanics, 20-25 equipment operators, 5 biomedical maintenance medical logistic personnel, and 25 representatives from the transportation composite group responsible for the discharge operation. The mechanics and vehicle operators must be qualified to operate the equipment loaded on their assigned ships.

The assigned deploying brigade briefs the OPP OIC and detachment OIC on their responsibilities and priority of tasks prior to departure. Tasks are accomplished in coordination with the ships master.

Necessary tools, parts, and equipment deploy with the OPP to accomplish the required tasks.


Upon activation, the OIC of the OPP makes arrangements for deployment of the OPP to meet the PREPO AFLOAT ships at their home port or at a point during their transit to the SPOD. Ideally, the OPP should embark on the ship at least 24 hours prior to departure. Coordination must be made for the OPP to be loaded onboard during transit or at a port along the route to the SPOD. If the OPP cannot be onboard during vessel movement, it becomes part of the brigade lead element and embarks as soon as the ships arrive in the SPOD. If the latter occurs, the time required to prepare the ships for off-load may be extended.

Upon arrival at the embarkation point (ship siting location), the OIC of each ship OPP detachment reports to the ships master and coordinates required life support and priority of tasks assigned to the OPP detachment.

The applicable Army service component coordinates through USTRANSCOM with the MSC concerning the deployment of the OPP and required support at embarkation, transit, and arrival at the SPOD. Helicopter support may be needed from the home station embarkation port to fly the OPP element to the ship location if under sail.

Each OPP detachment at the earliest opportunity, under the control of the ships master, should become familiar with the vessels load plan and location of all equipment. The ships master provides guidance as to maintenance limitations due to safety. Unlashing of cargo and equipment during movement is not allowed. If civilian maintenance contractors are on board, the OPP detachment augments the civilian contractor to accomplish their assigned OPP tasks.

OPP tasks include the following:

  • Inspect tires (visually) for underinflation; add air if required. Visually inspect tracks for excessive slack. If required, perform adjustments.
  • Check for leaks in and around the vehicle/equipment. Check fluid levels in engines, gear boxes, transmission, transfers, and differentials. Add fluids, if required.
  • Remove waterproofing and preservation material from exhaust and intake openings. Remove all packing material that impedes proper equipment/vehicle operation.
  • Check the fuel filter; ensure the element is installed and serviceable. Add fuel additive to fuel tanks as required. Check belt tension; adjust if necessary.
  • Install or activate batteries. Correct starting procedures must be used to avoid damage to the electrical system. Established safety procedures and precautions must be followed when activating dry batteries. Electrolyte causes serious injury if it comes in contact with the body. Use protective clothing and equipment when handling acid or batteries. Flush overflows or spilled acid from vehicle surfaces. These instructions also apply to batteries supplying power to auxiliary equipment on vehicles. The ship masters approval is required before batteries are installed or activated.
  • After the "before operational checks" have been completed, and with the approval of the ships master, start the engine, and after a warm-up period, accelerate gradually to approximately one-half full power (one-half maximum allowable rpm). Observe/listen to the engines response relative to noise and/or vibration. If satisfactory, the vehicle or equipment is ready to operate.
  • Perform limited technical inspection of equipment to include medical. Tag any equipment that requires maintenance. Equipment that requires maintenance is identified with a tag attached to the left front and rear of the piece of equipment. The following color code system is used:
    - RED TAG. Needs major repairs.
    - YELLOW TAG. Needs minor repairs or adjustment
    . - NO TAG. Generally satisfactory condition.

Secondary loads in trailers or cargo beds are not tagged or inspected due to time constraints.

  • Conduct a walk-around inspection (if possible) to ensure all safety requirements have been met prior to placing the item in service.
  • Ensure equipment logbooks/ record jackets are present.

The onboard USAMC contractor personnel assists the OPP as set forth in their contract.

In addition to the pre-offload preparation, the OPP is responsible for marking vehicles for distribution to the proper element within the brigade and corps support group (CSG) units per guidance issued by the assigned brigade commander.

The OPP OIC provides a distribution plan and appropriate distribution tags to each ships OPP detachment OIC.

The OPP detachment OIC affixes the distribution tag to the lower right corner of the passenger side front windshield/ corner of the vehicle. The tags are color coded:

  • WHITE - Combat brigade (with support base) units.
  • GREEN - CSG units.

Based on the color of the distribution tag, separation of the onboard equipment can be made during discharge and movement into the marshaling area. In the marshaling area, further equipment sorting into unit configuration is accomplished.

The priority for equipment preparation is:

  • Materiel handling equipment (forklifts, cranes).
  • Transportation equipment that supports the throughput of equipment and supplies (line haul tractors/trailers, wreckers, re-fuelers).
  • Class VIII (medical).
  • Remainder of onboard equipment.

OPP transition at the SPOD:

  • The OPP force is incorporated into the advance party upon its arrival at the SPOD. They assist in the discharge of onboard equipment and supplies.
  • The port commander has OPCON of the PSA. The PSA includes the OPP and additional personnel, such as drivers and mechanics. It assists in the throughput of PREPO AFLOAT equipment and supplies.


All PREPO AFLOAT materiel is issued to and managed by the brigade and other support elements as deemed appropriate by the Army forces commander. To facilitate a rapid transition, equipment and supplies are issued to the brigade and other support elements on the tactical STAMIS hardware. The STAMIS hardware is uploaded with the current base line. Equipment and supplies are accounted for and managed during conflict IAW AR 710-2.

Class I

Procedures to be determined by the Defense Logistics Agency, USAMC, and Information Software Systems Development Center at Fort Lee.

Class V

Each ship carrying ammunition will have updated data files in Standard Army Ammunition System (SAAS) format containing all necessary accountability data for those Class V stocks loaded on the ship. Additionally, the ammunition support team that deploys to the theater prior to the arrival of the PREPO AFLOAT or follow-on ammunition ships will have a SAAS computer loaded with the specific Class V data of each ship carrying Class V. Upon arrival, the ship SAAS disk is provided to the ammunition support team to ensure exact data match. The ammunition support team then establishes and reports asset visibility and begins in-theater Class V management from this data base. Ammunition stocks are issued to the brigade, CSG, and managed by the Corps Materiel Management Center (CMMC) IAW Army forces logistics plan. If the CMMC is not established, the ammunition support team provides Class V management for the theater. For Class V assets airlifted into theater, an element of the ammunition support team has a team at the APOD to identify in-coming stocks and report accountability data to the primary ammunition support team element located at the SPOD.

Class VII and Other Items Requiring Property Book Accountability

These stocks are temporarily transferred from USAMC to the deploying unit via the Standard Property Book System-Redesign (SPBS-R). Temporary transfer occurs using STAMIS files in SPBS-R. The deploying unit commander and USAMC representative revise the accountability transfer to reflect the property book items actually issued.

Class VIII

PREPO AFLOAT ships carry the following types of Class VIII materiel:

  • Medical equipment and materiel sets.
  • Recommended stockage lists.
  • Other individual items of medical equipment.

Each ship loaded with medical materiel will have a data file in the battle book with complete inventory data for the materiel loaded on that ship. The data files will be in a format that is compatible with the Theater Army Medical Management Information System Medical Supply and Medical Assembly modules. The files also provide the gaining unit visibility of component shortages and exclusionary items (items not packed due to special storage requirements) within all medical equipment sets, medical materiel sets, and recommended stockage lists.

The USAMMA LSE deploys to the theater prior to the arrival of the PREPO AFLOAT ships. The USAMMA LSE updates the data file for each ship as required prior to the transfer of accountability to the gaining units property accountability element. The USAMMA LSE directs the flow of inbound exclusionary item packages from the APOD to the gaining unit. Additionally, the USAMMA LSE provides the gaining unit(s) with quality control information, such as shelf-life extensions. The Food and Drug Administration recalls and suspends medical supplies. Limited technical guidance for medical supplies is provided by the USAMMA LSE. Medical maintenance and logistics personnel from the supporting division or corps should deploy as members of the OPP with the necessary tools and test equipment to place all medical equipment into operation.

All Other Classes of Supplies

These stocks are issued by USAMC on the tactical STAMIS. Issue occurs using STAMIS files for Unit Level Logistics System, Standard Army Maintenance Systems, Standard Army Retail Supply System-1 Interim (SARSS-1[I]), Standard Army Retail Supply System-Objective, and Direct Support Unit Standard Supply System-Desktop III. The deploying unit commander and USAMC representative revise the accountability transfer to reflect the equipment and supplies actually issued.

Note. The unit commander, at his option, may elect to take less than the total quantity of equipment and supplies loaded on or discharged from the ships. USAMC retains accountability for all equipment and supplies not issued.

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