EYGELSHOVEN, Netherlands –
The team at Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux welcomed U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Shefali Razdan Duggal to the Eygelshoven Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite, Nov. 28.
The U.S. ambassador, who was nominated in March by President Joe Biden and sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Sept. 20, received a briefing from AFSBn-Benelux, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, and a tour of the APS-2 worksite.
The ambassador was introduced to AFSBn-Benelux’s key staff and leadership at the worksite and provided a briefing focused on the battalion’s mission, current and upcoming facility projects, and the U.S.-Dutch partnership at the site.
“We outlined the overarching mission of the 405th AFSB’s Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 program in Europe for the ambassador – not only for AFSBn-Benelux but for the rest of the theater to include the organizational expansion and establishment of an APS-2 worksite in Powidz, Poland, as well as the future NATO Industrial Complex-East in Brunssum, Netherlands,” said Maj. James Maskovyak, AFSBn-Benelux executive officer and Support Operations officer.
“Obviously at that echelon, we just kept it at big strokes, talking about our major capabilities and how we can reduce the time required for the U.S. Department of Defense to react to an emergent contingency operation by 45 to 60 days by having equipment prepositioned,” Maskovyak said.
Maskovyak said AFSBn-Benelux also gave the U.S. ambassador an overview of the partnership they’ve built with multiple installations and organizations in the Benelux tri-border area, which includes the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
“We provided her with an overview of our personnel, which was a highlight given that her interactions are mostly focused on U.S.-Dutch relations,” Maskovyak said. “So it was key for us to show her that 40 percent of our battalion workforce is made up of host nation Dutch Ministry of Defense employees.”
From there, AFSBn-Benelux highlighted how it has impacted operations in U.S. European Command over the past year – everything from mission command of Assure and Deter APS-2 equipment sets in Poland when Russia was building up its forces on the Ukrainian border earlier this year to the issuance of four units worth of APS-2 vehicles and equipment to NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
Also, AFSBn-Benelux briefed the ambassador on its command and control mission of a 3rd Infantry Division maintenance company deployed to Europe for nine months, plus its forward issue mission of APS-2 to two units during DEFENDER-Europe 22 – one of which was in Slovakia where many of the battalion's Dutch Ministry of Defense personnel were assigned during the exercise. Finally, AFSBn-Benelux briefed the ambassador on its part in the Presidential Drawdown Authority mission in Poland and the transfer of U.S. equipment east into Ukraine.
“We wanted to highlight how our small organization has impacted events over the past year,” said Maskovyak. “I think we did that well for the ambassador.”
Battalion Benelux then directed the ambassador’s attention to future operations to include DEFENDER-Europe 23 and Resolute Castle 23, which both tie in Dutch Ministry of Defense workforce support. Also, the battalion discussed how it’s prepared to support future Presidential Drawdown Authority missions as well as projected partner nation combined arms training in the months to come.
The Dutch Materiel Maintenance Organization covered current manning and how it hires Dutch local nationals, which improves organizational readiness. The MMO also talked about the Dutch infrastructure contribution of 38 million euros to the establishment of a future maintenance and multifunctional facility at Eygelshoven, which is expected to greatly increase the APS-2 site’s capacity and capabilities, said Maskovyak.
During the walking tour of the site, the ambassador met face-to-face with U.S. and Dutch Ministry of Defense personnel and visited the railhead, some of the storage warehouses and one of the maintenance facilities. From there, she was afforded the opportunity to climb up and into an APS-2 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle where she received a short equipment familiarization briefing and did a lap around the site in the M-ATV.
“The ambassador’s key focus during her visit was on interpersonal relationships between the U.S. government and our host nation Dutch Ministry of Defense workforce and how we work together to accomplish the mission,” Maskovyak said. “She seemed very impressed.”
The Eygelshoven APS-2 site provides 450,000 square feet of climate controlled warehouse space in nine warehouses as well as 50,000 square feet of hardstand storage to hold and maintain APS-2 equipment sets.
Battalion Benelux is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB. The battalion provides mission command of APS-2 operations at Eygelshoven and Zutendaal, Belgium, and is charged with providing and coordinating receipt, transfer, storage and maintenance of APS-2. This enables commanders to conduct unified action and perform a full range of military operations in support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging the U.S. Army Materiel Command materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.