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Unit-Level Logistics System Gunnery
at the National Training Center

by MAJ Brian K. Vaught and CPT Gerhard Schrter

NTC Recurring Observations:

1. Reception, Staging, Onward movement & Integration (RSO&I) ULLS Gunnery is not adequately resourced due to minimal planning and command emphasis.

2. At training day (TD) 0, the brigade has not rehearsed its CSS automation or validated its connectivity.

3. By TD 03, the entire brigade combat team has no status on any parts at the ULLS box.

4. By TD 04, many units in the brigade combat team do not show up on the C026 report.

5. By TD 10, the shop office has no repair parts status on the AHN-006.

The observations listed above are the direct result of those units not validating their CSS automation connectivity prior to departing the initial staging area. This oversight negatively impacted the operational readiness rate and combat power of the units during their entire 14-day campaign. To help units prevent these problems, the RSO&I phase of their NTC rotation requires all units to conduct a Unit-Level Logistics System Gunnery (ULLS Gunnery) to validate their CSS automation connectivity. This article describes the ULLS Gunnery technique.

The ULLS Gunnery is not unique to the Theater of Mohavia and the National Training Center. A force projection army must be prepared to use many of the same techniques at Camp Doha Army War Reserve (AWR-5), our Prepositioned Fleet (AWR-3), and other deployments around the world. Today and in the 21st Century, contingency deployments will require task-organizing an ad hoc organization that normally does not work together on a daily basis. These mission-tailored organizations must be able to operate together for extended periods with logistics information flowing through a supporting Standard Army Retail Supply System-1 (SARSS-1) and Standard Army Maintenance System-1 (SAMS-1) to manage normal maintenance and Class IX (CL IX) operations.

Our logistics automation systems are very flexible, but soldiers and their leaders must properly establish them and validate that they are connected and able to "talk" to their supporting logistics automation systems. This must often be done under austere conditions. At the NTC, we coach ULLS Gunnery as part of Reception, Staging, Onward movement and Integration (RSO&I), because RSO&I is the logical time to validate connectivity between systems. At NTC, the first phase of ULLS Gunnery begins on D-8, when units draw the rotational direct-support unit (DSU) authorized stockage list (ASL) with SARSS-1 computer. The last phase normally ends at D-1 after validating the brigade's automation connectivity.


ULLS Gunnery - is a four-phased operation as shown below (Figure 1).

Figure 1

The objective of the operation is to verify that combat service support (CSS) automation and parts distribution systems are "zeroed and boresighted" to produce accurate maintenance and supply information to facilitate a brigade's ability to rapidly build and sustain combat power. To validate this ability, all units within the brigade must clearly demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • Deadline equipment in ULLS.
  • Create a maintenance disk, and transfer that data into the C026 via the shop office SAMS-1 site.
  • Create an automated requisition in ULLS.
  • Create an ULLS supply disk.
  • Transfer the supply disk into the supply system via the FSB CL IX SSA SARSS-1 site.
  • Receive parts status on ULLS supply requisitions and post them to the C026.
  • Ensure the brigade's CL IX distribution system from the main SSA to the customer parts bin works.
  • Customers know where to pick up their parts.
  • ULLS clerks are able to close non-mission-capable (NMC) faults.
  • Transmit closed NMC information into SAMS to remove the NMC system from the C026.

This is a connectivity test of the automation systems between the organizational and direct support levels. As such, the primary responsibility for ULLS Gunnery normally rests with the Brigade S4 and the Forward Support Battalion (FSB) Support Operations Officer. Phase I of ULLS Gunnery is normally conducted on D-3 (RSO&I-3). An essential element of a successful ULLS Gunnery is coordinating the draw of prescribed load list (PLL) with shelters early in RSO&I so that units are prepared to execute ULLS Gunnery on RSO&I-3 and begin operating unit ULLS boxes in the staging area.

PHASE 0, Planning and Preparation. D-8 through D-4.

Events: Develop, coordinate, publish and rehearse the ULLS Gunnery execution plan.

1. The FSB support operations officer (SPO) and brigade S4 are responsible for developing the plan.

2. Identify an OIC (recommend the FSB maintenance officer) to serve as the brigade POC, with responsibility for executing the plan.

3. Rotational units deploy to NTC with Home-Station ULLS boxes. These are normally brought to accompany troops (TAT) on aircraft or via linehaul from Home Station.

4. On D-8, the rotation unit draws its authorized stockage list (ASL).

5. On D-6, the unit draws prescribed load lists (PLLs) and trucks.

6. On D-5, local contractors work with the rotational unit ULLS clerks to upload live NTC Department of Defense Activity Address Codes (DODAACs) for use during the rotation by each company-level unit within the brigade. Each ULLS box is also uploaded with all corresponding equipment for that company-level unit in the draw yard. This preparatory phase is complete when the bde is ready to execute the three primary phases of ULLS Gunnery Figure 2).

Figure 2

PHASE I, ULLS Operation. D-3.

Events: Verify that all ULLS boxes are able to:

  • Deadline equipment.
  • Requisition parts from the supporting SARSS-1 site.
  • Create a maintenance inoperative (inop) transfer disk that transfers data to SAMS-2 C026 print via the supporting SAMS 1 site.

1. Each ULLS clerk begins the arduous task of transferring systems in and out of his box to build the final task organization for each ULLS box (e.g., unit).

2. On D-3, all assets and equipment are set up in a manner conducive to a smooth execution and rapid completion of the ULLS Gunnery process. We recommend consolidating the ULLS, SAMS and SARSS boxes with supporting small extension node (SEN) in one location under the control of the ULLS Gunnery OIC. Consolidating all systems expedites the numerous disk transfers between units and enables the OIC to validate that all units have demonstrated their ability to transfer automated CSS data, understand the disk submission process and walked through the parts distribution and receiving system (see Figure 3 for tracking sheet format).

3. Be sure to establish the SEN that will actually support the SARSS-I site during the campaign. This is a critical piece that is often overlooked.

4. Having properly loaded unit DODAACs, Unit Identification Codes (UIC), Class IX (CL IX) and maintenance support unit are critical to this phase.

5. The ULLS clerks build the task organization for each unit as directed in the brigade's Operations Order (OPORD) for the upcoming operation.

6. Once the units are task-organized in the ULLS boxes, each unit must deadline a reportable piece of equipment and requisition that deadlining part - a 5-cent washer.

7. To differentiate an ULLS Gunnery test fault from an actual fault, recommend establishing an NMC fault of "test" and requisitioning a 5-cent washer that is available at the main supply support activity (SSA) (Figure 4).

8. The ULLS clerks then create a supply disk and a maintenance disk.

a. The supply disk containing the requisition for the washer is submitted to the supporting SARSS-1 site for transmission into the retail supply system.

b. The maintenance disk containing the NMC system data is submitted to the supporting SAMS-1 site (Figure 5).

9. The SAMS-1 site then transfers the data via disk (manual) or mobile subscriber equipment (MSE) (automated - which is the preferred method), to the SAMS-2 site at the FSB support operations (SPT OPS).

10. FSB SPT OPS produces the brigade's C026 containing all of the test NMC systems. The SPT OPS maintenance officer verifies that all units (e.g., DODAACs) appear on the C026 with the test NMC system.

11. Phase I concludes upon verification that all ULLS boxes are able to:

  • Deadline equipment.
  • Create a maintenance inoperable transfer disk.
  • Transfer the inoperable information onto the C026 print via the supporting SAMS-1 site.
  • Create an automated requisition.
  • Submit an automated requisition into the retail supply system via the supporting SARSS-1 site.

PHASE II, ULLS Connectivity. D-2.

Events: Verify that all units are able to receive status on their requisitions and post that status on the C026. Each unit must receive a supply status disk from the SARSS-1 site and successfully load it back into the ULLS boxes.

1. Once the ULLS clerks receive the supply status disk from the SARSS-1 site, they load that status into their ULLS boxes and post it to their document control register (DCR). The status should be either:

a. BA - materiel release order (MRO) cut from the supporting SSA and ready for customer pickup, or

b. BM - part not available at supporting SSA and requisition forwarded to next higher source of supply.

2. The ULLS clerks then create a maintenance inoperable transfer disk for the supporting SAMS-1 site containing the NMC system and the corresponding requisition with status to provide requisition status to the C026 print.

3. The SPT OPS maintenance officer produces a C026 and verifies that all units are able to receive parts status from their supporting SARSS-1 site and post that status to the C026.

4. Phase II concludes when all units have posted the test NMC system part requisition status to the C026.

PHASE III, Completion and Close-out. D-1.

Events: The critical elements of this phase are that the ULLS clerks know where to pick up parts and are able to close NMC systems at the unit level. This phase verifies the following CSS automation functions:

  • The parts distribution system from the supporting or alternate SSA to the customer bin is functional.
  • Customers know where to pick up their parts and then actually pick them up.
  • ULLS clerks are able to close NMC system faults.
  • The closed NMC fault information is transmitted into SAMS to remove the NMC system from the C026.
  • The brigade possesses the capability to produce an accurate C026 to assist in building and sustaining combat power for the duration of the operation.

1. Phase III commences once units pick up their parts from their customer bin at the supporting SSA.

2. The parts are then brought to the unit maintenance collection point (UMCP).

3. The mechanic installs the part on the system, brings the system back to a fully mission-capable (FMC) status, and notifies the ULLS clerk the part is installed and the vehicle is FMC.

4. The ULLS clerk ensures the part is posted as received and installed in the ULLS box and closes the NMC fault.

5. After the fault is closed, the ULLS clerk produces a maintenance inop disk containing the data for the supporting SAMS-1 site to close and remove the NMC system from the C026.

6. The SAMS-1 site receives the ULLS maintenance disk and transfers the information to the SAMS-2 site, which, in turn, closes and removes the NMC system from the C026.

7. The SPT OPS maintenance officer produces a C026 and ensures that all units closed and removed the test NMC system from the C026 print.

8. This phase concludes when all units have:

  • Received the deadlining part.
  • Posted the part as received, installed and returned the NMC system as fully mission capable in ULLS.
  • Successfully closed the system in SAMS, and the NMC system no longer appears on the C026.

CONCLUSION: The foundation of a viable brigade supply and maintenance management system that builds and sustains combat power is the seamless connectivity of its CSS automation infrastructure (ULLS, SAMS and SARSS) and synchronization with the brigade signal plan. This four-phased TTP was developed at the NTC to assist brigades in applying a simple, organized approach to accomplish the complex task of boresighting and zeroing their CSS automation systems to support the maneuver commander's plan.

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