The Department of the Army has recognized Fort Bragg’s Logistics Readiness Center as the highest standard in installation deployment operations.
The LRC’s Transportation Division won the 2016 Army Chief of Staff’s Combined Logistics Excellence Award for Deployment Excellence in the installation category. The center also won this award in 2010, which was the last time they submitted a packet for consideration.
The DoA reviews 62 specific areas of transportation operations when judging the award, and Fort Bragg’s LRC team believes their innovation in deployment operations helped them win this year’s honor.
“It is expected that everybody is going to understand the deployment process and how to get forces off the installation, but it’s how well you do it, how innovative you are, how you modernize things and where you find efficiencies within the process to be the best,” explained Bob Franks, director, Fort Bragg LRC.
Some past innovations from the LRC include an in-progress review for deployments and redeployments. This IPR contains built-in timelines the team uses to identify all requirements necessary for execution of any deployment needed out of Fort Bragg.
“It’s a very complex mission,” said Shannon Stout, chief, unit movements branch, Fort Bragg LRC.
“What makes us different than most other locations is that we’ve pretty much got it all dialed in. We know what it takes to do every one of those complex missions and when to do it.”
Deployments out of Fort Bragg are more complicated than other premiere power projection platforms because it is an expeditionary installation, explained Tim Shea, chief, Transportation Division, installation transportation officer, Fort Bragg LRC.
He said this means many times, units and the LRC have little to no notice before a deployment.
“If the president dials 911, it could ring here,” said Franks. “Bottom line, it’s expected that if he says go, it’s 18 hours or 96 hours.”
To meet that directive, Fort Bragg’s LRC has created template “playbooks” that allow units to have a general idea of the transportation coordination necessary for a deployment.
“You have a game plan that is already in place and then, once you know where you are going on this unannounced deployment, you do what I call audibles,” Franks said.
The LRC transportation team attributes its success with these changes to preparation and excellent teamwork.
“We probably practice this deployment stuff more than anybody else,” Shannon said. “We, as the LRC … we work from the same playbook. We all have the same exact timelines and we are succinct and know when everything happens at the same time. So we all know where each of our teammates are in the process as things are going on and that’s something that happens here probably more than anywhere else.”
Part of the LRC team includes contractors, and the transportation leadership team was quick to praise their professionalism and pride. Over 70 percent of the LRC workforce, including the contractors, are veterans, which makes the mission even more meaningful, explained the team.
They highlight the importance of service values in providing the best deployment experience to any unit that leaves from Fort Bragg, whether they are stationed here permanently or just passing through.
This support and the innovation of the LRC team are just two of the many reasons the transportation division said they came out on top.
“It’s a combination of everybody’s hard work and efforts and a testimony to the professionalism and experience that exists here and the pride in wanting to be the best and actually achieving it. That’s the key,” Franks said.
After explaining what makes his team the finest in the Army, Franks had one last thought to share with the Fort Bragg community.
“Since Fort Bragg is the center of the military universe, we want them to know that they have the best to serve them and we will continue to do that in the future.”