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    New Leader Takes the Helm of Army’s Rapid Equipping Force



    Story by Dana Ayers, Contractor 

    Rapid Equipping Force - U.S. Army

    FORT BELVOIR, Virginia (August 20, 2018) – Colonel Joe Daniels Bookard, the new Director of the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, understands first-hand how unforeseen equipment needs inevitably arise in the evolving landscape of military engagements around the globe. With years of leadership and combat experience, Bookard is ready to lead the Army’s quick reaction capability for getting urgent materiel solutions into the hands of Soldiers.

    Colonel Bookard assumed his duties July 30, having most recently served as the Commander of the 428th Field Artillery Brigade. He expressed that he is looking forward to leading the REF, noting the unique aspects of the organization.

    “Our mission here is a critical one,” said Bookard. “When a Soldier downrange is in need of an item that could help save lives or improve effectiveness, speed is key. The REF is positioned to turn requests around within 180 days or less. I look forward to leading such an agile team charged with a mission that directly supports our warfighters.”

    The REF was created in 2002 after U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan discovered standard equipment issued to them prior to deploying did not always meet the demands of new terrain, warfare tactics and their assigned missions. Since then, the REF has met challenges as diverse as improving force protection, providing surveillance in austere locations, improving operational energy sources and enhancing communications.

    The organization maintains a presence near the point of need, with personnel positioned in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait and mobile laboratories available for quick solutions. Additionally, the REF empowers the Army at a grassroots level, enabling individual Soldiers to communicate needs directly through simple request forms.

    Along with providing innovative materiel solutions quickly to Army forces deployed globally, the REF also informs longer-term materiel development for the future force, and is scalable to meet operational demands.

    “We’ll continue to look at not just the urgent, short-turnaround requests but also at informing equipment decisions for the longer term,” Bookard added. “Our commitment is to the Warfighter – today and into the future.”



    Date Taken: 08.20.2018
    Date Posted: 08.20.2018 10:59
    Story ID: 289464
    Location: FORT BELVOIR, VA, US 

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