News: Vanguard Brigade declares war on excess
Story by Sgt. Bob Yarbrough
FORT STEWART, Ga. – The scenery outside the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, headquarters has drastically changed since the Vanguard Brigade declared war on excess.
Excess equipment included vehicles, cargo containers, and other systems not being used by units, or extra equipment that was needed at one time to support a mission, but is no longer needed by a unit. The equipment will be re-distributed throughout the brigade in order for units to have what they need to complete their missions or turned in to Army or Department of Defense level logistic agencies.
“A lot of our battalions are short on certain items, while other ones have extra, so we may be able to fill shortages from here,” said 1st Lt. Eric Lloyd, the assistant officer in charge of the excess yard, and a native of Dalton, Ga. “It’ll save everybody some time and money, and from having to order [new items].”
Battalions within the Vanguard Brigade have identified equipment that is considered excess, and have coordinated with the brigade logistics section to be turned in at the Vanguard Redistribution Excess Recovery Yard. From there, the logisticians at the brigade determine if the equipment can be used within one of the battalions in the brigade. If so, the unit will receive the equipment and it will be added to their property book. If the equipment is extra, it will be sent away to be reused by other units outside of the brigade.
The excess yard was built next to the brigade headquarters building and was visible to anyone who drove by.
“I think the positioning of the excess yard had a definite purpose.” said Capt. Keith Isbell, the special projects officer for the Vanguard Brigade, and a Memphis, Tennessee, native. “By displaying all of our accumulated excess, we can plainly see the degree to which we need to redistribute assets to save money and meet budget limitations.”
While the yard is fully operational, the planning portion of this endeavor has been ongoing, beginning early this year. “We put the yard up about a month ago, but all the planning’s been done for about six months.” said Lloyd.
This operation required participation from all levels, from company supply sergeants to the brigade logistics section. Every unit in the brigade began scrubbing their property books beginning in May, and began transferring equipment to other units that were in need of it.
Any additional equipment was brought to the Vanguard Redistribution Excess Recovery Yard for storage until it’s determined where it will be allocated to. So far the yard has received more than $7 million in excess equipment; however Lloyd said a total nearing $10 million is expected.
The war on excess not only frees up space, but also time and effort.
“Soldiers were forced to spend more time in maintaining and accounting for the excess property,” said Isbell. “Redistribution of the excess would allow Soldiers more time to train.”
As combat arms soldiers continue to train to maintain combat readiness, the Vanguard Brigade has also taken on the war on excess to ensure the Army has the equipment to fight and win.