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                Our SSA facility is too small to hold
equipment and supplies and with GPC being the main source of supply for purchases we must utilize LCI first for all class II orders. If LCI does not
sell the product or is out of stock, we are required to find three vendor quotes and then submit to LCI. Once the quotes are submitted, LCI then reaches out to the company and orders the specific item. Card Holders (CH) are not authorized to use Open Market Vendors (Wal-Mart, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Mom & Pop Supply Stores, etc.) to purchase Class II items, which sometimes causes a back log/delay from receiving items. We also face limitations with regards to the amount of purchases a CH can make at one time.
With all that being said, leaders must develop
a program that will get after either maintaining or developing technical knowledge. The method we use is a web based training platform, GCSS-Army training and certification system (GTRAC), that familiarizes the user with the GCSS-Army system to help keep technical proficiency, preparing them for follow-on assignments. This training platform is incorporated during Sergeant’s time and helps maintain technical proficiency bridging the gap between FORSCOM and TRADOC organizations.
Challenge #5: Budgeting at the BN level
Our fiscally constraint environment does not allow us the freedom of movement to purchase anything and everything with regards to equipment and supplies. Commanders provide vision,
intent, and either line of efforts or priorities that help provide guidance to align operational and maintenance budgets no matter what echelon you serve. I mentioned the budget constraints the Army faced with the ACFT equipment and the 16 lanes to each BN across the Army. There are many more examples to use; however, the key to success is ensuring budget allocation aligns with your commander’s priorities and available resources are looked upon before purchasing unnecessary items.
At the BCT BN’s, the majority of the budget
is executed for reoccurring class II items, which highlights the challenge for commanders to execute their priorities. Weekly meetings are critical to
ensure companies remain on track with regards
to spending and ensuring forecasted priorities
are addressed. A method we use to help project company commanders priorities is utilizing
their prepare to train slides that captures eight weeks of training to help develop future ordering requirements. This allows companies to better forecast and prioritize their spending requirements, which allows the BN to allocate resources according to identified requirements versus equal allocations across the companies.
Desired Result
Regardless of the Army command you serve in, there will always be logistical challenges. I have identified a few of the challenges that we face as
a BCT battalion and methods to combat them.
Our method of approach is not the be-all end-all; however it’s an approach. The key is to IDENTIFY what those challenges are and to create an approach that develops efficiencies in your processes in order to achieve effectiveness. If you fail to plan for logistics, you plan to fail at your operation!
Logistical Challenges
   MAJ Jonathan Plotkin is the Battalion Executive Officer for the 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade. Previously he served as the Director of Resource Management, Area Support Group – Qatar.
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