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Military

LOGPAC OPERATIONS
by SFC Edward Bruning

Observation

Logistical package (LOGPAC) operations are seldom planned during operations at the NTC. It seems that resupplying the company is viewed as something that just happens rather than one of the most important tasks of the day. Time is seldom set aside for LOGPAC operations. Common results:

1. Everything stops as soldiers flock to the LOGPAC like children to an ice cream truck.
2. The clock ticks away and the 1SG misses the turnaround time because no one was ready for the LOGPAC.

This article provides an outline of various responsibilities, a discussion of distribution methods, and some observed trends and associated techniques for units to use while training at Home Station.

Combat Service Support (CSS) Responsibilities

The company XO coordinates with the 1SG to determine what combat service support (CSS) the engineer company requires and ensures that arrangements are made for CSS to support the tactical plan. The XO also:

  • Determines the general location for the company resupply point.
  • Receives periodic maintenance updates from the platoon leaders and sergeants, the 1SG, and the maintenance team chief.
  • Ensures logistical status reports (LOGSTAT) are correct, to include cross-attaching platoons.

The 1SG is the engineer company's CSS operator. He can be assisted by the A&O platoon, depending on the tactical situation. The 1SG:

  • Receives, consolidates, and forwards all administrative, personnel, and casualty reports to the engineer battalion and the task force (TF) combat trains.
  • Directs the medical evacuation section and company maintenance support team (MST) forward when the situation requires.
  • Establishes and organizes the company resupply point.
  • Meets LOGPACs at the logistical rally point (LRP), guides the LOGPAC to the company resupply point, and supervises resupply operations.
  • Orients new personnel to the company and assigns them to platoons.
  • Supervises the acquisition, treatment, and evacuation of casualties.
  • Supervises the evacuation of enemy prisoners of war (EPW) and damaged equipment.
  • Maintains a personnel roster for the company.
  • Attends the engineer battalion and the TF CSS rehearsals as the company representative.

The supply sergeant is the engineer company's representative in the engineer battalion field trains. The supply sergeant:

  • Requests Class II, IV, VII, and IX items.
  • Coordinates with the battalion/TF support platoon leader for Class I, III, and V supplies.
  • Maintains individual supply and clothing records.
  • Picks up personnel replacements at the engineer battalion field trains and in-processes them into the company.
  • Receives and evacuates the killed in action (KIA) soldiers to the graves registration point in the brigade support area (BSA).
  • Returns the LOGPAC with EPW and damaged vehicles to the BSA for further disposition.

The MST chief is assigned to HHC but supports the engineer company. He can be attached when required. The MST chief:

  • Conducts battle damage assessment and repair (BDAR). Performs mission-essential maintenance.
  • Advises the XO, 1SG, and platoon leaders on vehicle recovery, repair, and destruction.
  • Ensures that requests for repair parts are prepared and forwarded to the engineer battalion unit maintenance collection point (UMCP).
  • Distributes repair parts when they are received.
  • Supervises exchange and cannibalization when that authority is delegated to him.
  • Coordinates with the platoon sergeants for maintenance status of their platoons (if not already provided by the 1SG).
  • Takes responsibility for recovery operations to the UMCP or other designated maintenance collection points.

Platoon combat medics are assigned to HHC but attached to the company. The platoon medics:

  • Provide emergency medical treatment and stabilize injured soldiers for evacuation.
  • Triage the wounded and ill (both friendly and enemy).
  • Evacuate seriously wounded personnel under the direction of the 1SG.
  • Control, issue, and request resupply of Class VIII supplies, including nerve-agent antidote injectors.
  • Train soldiers and combat lifesavers in first-aid procedures.
  • Coordinate with the 1SG for medical evacuation-team operations.
  • Advise the chain of command on field sanitation measures.
  • Advise the commander on the command's health.

Methods of Distribution

Service Station. When the service-station method is used, individual vehicles move back to a centrally located rearm and refuel point. Based on the enemy situation, one vehicle per section or platoon or even an entire platoon pulls out of their positions, resupplies, and returns to their positions until the company has been resupplied.

  • Vehicles enter the resupply point following one-way traffic flow.
  • Only vehicles requiring immediate unit or higher maintenance stop in the maintenance holding area before conducting resupply.
  • Wounded in action (WIA), KIA, and EPW are removed from the platoon vehicles when the vehicles stop at the refuel or rearm point.
  • Vehicles rearm and refuel moving through each point.
  • Crews rotate individually to feed, pick up mail, pick up supplies, and refill or exchange water cans.
  • When all vehicles have completed resupply, they move to the holding area where the platoon leader or platoon sergeant conducts a pre-combat check (PCC) (time permitting).

Tailgate. In the tailgate method, combat vehicles remain in place or back out of their position a short distance so the resupply vehicle is not exposed. POL and ammunition trucks go to each vehicle position in turn.

  • Individual crewmen rotate through feeding areas and pick up supplies, water, and mail.
  • Platoon personnel bring KIAs and personal effects to the holding area.
  • Armored ambulances pick up critically wounded. Other wounded personnel either are carried or walk to the ambulances for first aid.
  • EPWs are centralized and guarded.
  • Vehicles requiring maintenance are brought to the maintenance area.
  • Inspections are completed by the chain of command at each vehicle position.

Modified Tailgate. The modified-tailgate method organizes the LOGPAC into separate platoon packages, which are picked up by the platoon sergeants and then delivered to the platoon work sites. Once on site the platoon sergeant runs the LOGPAC as the 1SG would run a service station. This method is particularly effective during defensive preparations because it minimizes platoon travel and allows the soldiers to resupply at their work sites.

Issues

Poor Home Station training.
Issue: 1SGs do not anticipate the long distances they must travel at the NTC.
Discussion: 1SGs must be prepared to travel long distances over unfamiliar terrain to conduct LOGPAC.
Recommendations:

  • Rehearse the supply route; know how long it takes to drive. At least conduct a map reconnaissance.
  • At Home Station conduct resupply in less time. If your unit allows a 3-hour turnaround time, do not allow yourself to be on site for two and one-half hours. Train your unit to conduct resupply in the time you will have on an actual deployment, about one and one-half to two hours.

TACSOPs not complete.
Issue: TACSOPs do not address how the unit will run LOGPAC.
Discussion: Simply addressing the three methods of distribution does not make an SOP.
Recommendations:

  • Address how each resupply point will be set up. Do not just copy the figures as shown in this article; go to the field and set up. Identify what works best for your unit and make that your SOP.
  • Assign responsibilities for setup and break down of the resupply point.
  • Develop a plan for how the unit is to flow through the resupply point.
  • Plan for security throughout the distribution. Do not just line up the M113s behind the fuel truck. Always remain tactical.
  • Have an SOP for all three methods of distribution.

Getting Class I to platoons that are task organized.
Issue: Keeping track of headcounts is an issue. The real problem is not how to get the LOGPAC to the platoon; it is getting an accurate LOGSTAT (headcount) based on the task organization. The XO, CDR, 1SG, and PSGs must know about changes in task organization before meals are prepared.
Discussion: There should be no reason for a support platoon leader to leave the BSA with a LOGPAC that is not properly organized. As soon as a change to task organization is announced, changes to LOGSTATs need to be reported.
Recommendations:

  • The XO and CDR need to put out a warning order ASAP when there is a change in task organization.
  • The PSG and PL need to confirm the changes to the LOGSTAT with their unit and the receiving unit as soon as they find out about the cross attachment.
  • The engineer 1SG should coordinate with the receiving/maneuver 1SG at the CSS rehearsal to verify that the platoons have been added to the LOGSTAT. If there are problems, it will usually be too late to correct the LOGPAC, but it allows some time to react.

Difficulty meeting LRP return time.
Issue: All units know they must conduct LOGPAC operations to remain a combat- effective force, yet they seldom set time aside for LOGPAC operations to take place.
Discussion: LOGPAC operations do not just happen; they need to be part of the plan.
Recommendation: Include LOGPAC into the timeline (see example below).

0600 Task Force Operations Order (2 hours)
0700 PCCs (2 hours)
0800
0900 Company Operations Order (1 hour) / Squad Rehearsals (2 hours)
1000
1100 Platoon Operations Order (1 hour)
1200 Commander & First Sergeant conduct PCIs (1.5 hours)
1300 LOGPACs are being organized
1400 Task Force Rehearsal (2 hours) / Platoon Rehearsals (2 hours)
1500 CSS Rehearsal (1 hour)
Supply sergeant leaves for the LRP
1600 Travel to LRP
Company Rehearsals (1 hour)
1700 Pick up LOGPAC at LRP
Travel to TAA (45 minutes)
1800 Set up and run Service Station LOGPAC at TAA (1.5 hours)
1900 Travel back to LRP (45 minutes)
2000 Drop off LOGPAC with LRP
2100

Conclusion

Valuable time can be saved by simply training LOGPAC operations and having a good SOP. LOGPAC operations must be trained the same way a unit would train minefield emplacement or breaching operations; there needs to be a battle drill. Keeping the equipment running and the soldiers fed and healthy is an important mission. A unit must understand and execute LOGPAC properly so that resupply does not detract from other equally important missions.


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