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Harvest Falcon

The Air Force's Harvest Eagle and Harvest Falcon systems complement Force Provider's capabilities and applications in MOOTW. Smaller than the Force Provider company, Harvest Falcon assets are tan in color and can support 1,100 personnel each. Harvest Falcon consist of housekeeping sets, an industrial operations set, and initial flight line and follow-on flight line sets. The housekeeping sets provide billeting with heating and cooling, a kitchen, showers, latrines, and high voltage power generators. The Harvest Falcon package is deployed by 15 sorties of C-130 aircraft using the 463L pallet system.

Created in the 1980s, Harvest Falcon combined aspects of both Harvest Eagle and Harvest Bare designs. Of the two Air Force systems, Harvest Falcon sets are more comprehensive and consist of four major component sets: housekeeping, industrial, initial flightline support assets, and follow-on flightline support. The housekeeping sets are designed to support personnel and include TEMPER tents, hardwall shelters, latrines, showers, a dining facility, and support vehicles. Industrial sets expand the basic capabilities of the housekeeping sets by providing underground water, sewage, and electrical services.

Harvest Falcon basing sets also included shower/shave units consisting of a four-section shower element and four three-bowl washstands housed in a TEMPER tent. The washstands were on either side of the shower units and provided a compact total unit. An M-80 boiler unit provided hot water. The Harvest Falcon latrines consisted of three toilets and a urinal trough mounted above a 135 gallon water tank and a 180-gallon waste tanks. A pressured water system supplied water for flushing. The waste from these units was either pumped out by sewage trucks or distributed to an existing sewage system.

Industrial sets also can support other facilities such as warehouses, maintenance and engineer shops, field exchanges, and even chapels. Although of limited use in MOOTW, initial and follow-on flightline sets offer airfield lighting and aircraft hangars.

Harvest Falcon was designed specifically for Southwest Asia (SWA] operations (i.e. no freeze protection]. The most common personnel shelter was the TEMPER (Tent, Extendable, Modular, Personnel) Tent. These tan-colored, soft-wall structures were modular, frame-supported tents that could be assembled without tools. Each section was twenty feet wide and eight feet long. The standard billeting TEMPER Tent comprised four sections. The tents included lighting, liners, Insulated floors, and an air conditioning distribution system. Environmental control units both cooled and heated the tents. An experienced crew of four could assemble a four-section TEMPER Tent in about an hour. Harvest Falcon used Harvest Bare structures such as the expandable personnel shelters (EXPs).

Prior to Operation Desert Storm the Air Force planned to use elaborate base development packages called the Harvest Bear, Harvest Falcon, and Harvest Eagle. The Air Force had pre-positioned these "harvest" packages that included tents, latrine and shower units, kitchen and dining facilities, field laundries, general purpose and aircraft shelters, plus electrical power, sewer, and water systems. Troops assembled these light shelters in the field. When the stock became insufficient in 1990, the Air Force, like the Army, began procuring commercially available expedient structures.

DESERT SHIELD saw the first real-world use of Harvest Falcon assets, mobility basing sets developed in the 1980s that gave the Air Force the capability to deploy to bases and establish flying operations within 72 hours. This ambitious mobility concept presented unique problems and challenges to engineers, planners and developers. They developed a comprehensive Bare Base Conceptual Planning Guide to help formalize the new system and address how it would be employed.

Harvest Falcon equipment flowed in from prepositioning sites in the region. Engineers established additional supply lines through contracting officers dedicated to each base. Obtaining heavy construction equipment was a priority. Transportation was scarce during the deployment's first weeks, and much of the equipment that arrived from prepositioning sites was inoperable or soon broke down because seals and belts had dry-rotted in storage. The solution was to borrow or rent equipment from host nation engineers and heavy construction companies to grade areas for tent cities.

Most engineers had never trained on the equipment because Harvest Falcon was a new program and training assets were not yet available. When TEMPER tents (Tent, Extendable, Modular, PERsonnel) and utility systems began appearing, many without Technical Orders, engineers were uncertain what constituted a complete set, how they were to be assembled, or how to repair the equipment. With ingenuity and flexibility, engineers quickly laid out the pieces, determined what went where, and began putting up tents. The first tent took about four hours to construct. Shortly thereafter, an experienced crew of four could assemble a four-section, 20x32-foot tent for 12 people in about an hour.

Prepositioning has a tremendous impact on supporting a full range of military operations to include MTW, Smaller Scale Contingencies (SSCs) or Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW). However, continued use of prepositioned assets in support of MOOTW over extended periods of time degrades readiness and adversely impacts their availability for use in an MTW or SSC. By 1996, as a result of MOOTW, 60 percent of the Harvest Falcon (bare-base support) sets were unserviceable pending reconstitution.

As of 1996 the 50 Harvest Falcon systems could support up to 55,000 personnel and 750 aircraft at 14 separate bases. As of 2002 the HF consisted of 50 1100-person Housekeeping, 15 Industrial Operations, 15 Initial Flight line and 25 Follow-on Flight line sets.

The Harvest Falcon equipment was specifically designed for use in Southwest Asia. The Air Force Harvest Falcon bare-base materiel program is vital to USCENTCOM. These assets support the rapid generation of temporary bases and have been employed effectively to facilitate key bases in ENDURING FREEDOM. Failure to preposition these bare-base sets would result in further over tasking critical strategic lift assets at the start of a conflict. The demand for Harvest Falcon assets by all CINCs has been extremely keen. The pace of ENDURING FREEDOM, and other operations before it, has continually surpassed the Air Force's ability to replace and repair what has been used. As of 2002 on-hand Harvest Falcon assets were 51% mission capable.

Harvest Falcon kits are employed in more than just MRCs. Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch reduced the availability of Harvest Falcon kits.1 Beddown for Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch, as well as that for OEF, was using Harvest Falcon kits before OIF even began, which limited the number of kits available for OIF. WRM assets were intended to be used during major regional contingencies. In reality, these Harvest Falcon assets are being used for most operations in the AOR.

By 2002 the Air Force's Bare Base sustainment packages (Harvest Falcon, Harvest Eagle) had been severely depleted due to near-continual usage without adequate reconstitution.

By mid-2003 bare-base Harvest Falcon assets caught up with the pace of personnel deployments to Tallil AB; then, water, power, and facility infrastructures were constructed to support both airpower and people requirements. Communications infrastructure leveraged the existing Iraqi conduits; together they produced a functional grid on base -- at least for work-center phones and computers and connected to long-haul grids off base. The base could then fully support airpower operations: close air support, strike, air mobility, rescue, and reconnaissance operations.

Planning factors that are used to determine Harvest Falcon requirements differ significantly from how Harvest Falcon assets are employed. The planning factors are based on supporting full-size squadron deployments to a bare base with adequate room to set up Housekeeping, Flight Line, and Industrial Operations sets. JTF NA, OEF, and OIF experiences have shown that numerous Air Force deployments involve deploying in less-than-squadron-size units to coalition-partner military sites.

The deploying forces may fall in on existing infrastructure but require additional assets-for example, power distribution units. Also, because of space limits, detached facilities may have to be built in a restricted amount of space. Further, specific components of sets-for example, light sets-are issued to meet specific demands for force protection or other needs.

Requirements planning factors also assume that the sets would be used one time to meet major regional contingency (MRC) needs. By 2005 they were being used to sustain long-term permanent rotations. during OIF. Specific high-demand components of Harvest Falcon sets are issued to support deployments and are removed from complete sets to meet demands: power-generation (MEP-12 generators, powerdistribution centers [PDC], lighting units [TF-1], expandable common-use shelters [ECS]), shower/shave units, and billeting tents. In all but the shower/shave units, demand and operational needs exceeded the planning factor authorizations.

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