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Saving the Army Time and Money

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Journal article

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In a growing military community like Grafenwoehr, Germany, balancing housing and community needs with training requirements is complex. Sometimes, ensuring that both areas of need are covered requires some out-of-the-box thinking. Back in March 2007, the 7th United States Army Joint Multinational Training Command JMTC Safety Office had no choice but to shut down a critical ammunition holding area because it was too close to new housing construction. Without the use of that holding area, units training at Grafenwoehr would feel the impact immediately. Faced with an already demanding and rapidly increasing operations tempo, JMTC began sorting options to resolve the issue. There were three possible avenues to be evaluated The first option contract development of a new ammunition holding area was quickly ruled out. The contracting process would be too time-consuming and would directly impact operations on the ranges and training sites. A faster solution was needed. The second option was to negotiate with the German government, which was willing to allow continued use of the holding area, but at greatly reduced tonnage. That would also impact operations and slow down training for the units as they took valuable time to readjust ammunition receiving and distribution plans instead of putting rounds downrange. The third option, which JMTC chose, was to request that Army National Guard engineer assets come to Grafenwoehr for overseas duty training, with a goal of having the new site built within 21 days. With that plan in hand, the command invited the 631st Engineer Company from Lawrenceville, Illinois, to train at Grafenwoehr. This mission closely resembles combat operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, since units in both places are working similar issues regarding ammunition holding area construction. As the theater matures and neighborhoods in such places as Balad and Baghdad improve, ammunition holding areas will ultimately have to be moved and rebuilt.

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  • Civil Engineering

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