DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS
FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA
US ARMY CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
WASHINGTON, D. C.
OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM
Oral History Interview
DSIT AE 103
COL Roy E. Beauchamp
Commander, 101st Support Group
Interview Conducted 5 June 1991 at the Headquarters, 101st Support Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Interviewer: MAJ Robert B. Honec, III (116th Military History Detachment)
OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM
7 August 1990 - 15 May 1991
Oral History Interview DSIT AE 103
MAJ HONEC: This is a DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM interview. My name is MAJ Robert B. Honec of the 116th Military History Detachment. I am here today at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, at the headquarters of the 101st Combat Support Group ... Corps Support Group?
COL BEAUCHAMP: 101st Support Group (Corps).
MAJ HONEC: Support Group (Corps), thank you, sir. With COL Beauchamp. Sir, would you for the record state your full name, Social Security number, your position, and how long you've been in the position.
COL BEAUCHAMP: My name is COL Roy Beauchamp. I am Commander of the 101st Support Group. I have been in command since 29 June 1990. My Social Security number is ***-**-****.
MAJ HONEC: Your middle initial, sir?
COL BEAUCHAMP: E. Roy E.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Starting from the very beginning of deployment, can we go over the major issues you faced getting ready for the DESERT SHIELD effort? And we can go on from there to the defensive ... further defensive phase over in Saudi Arabia and the offensive phase and retrograde. So could you discuss some of the key issues we have here, starting with the fact that the [XVIII Airborne] Corps was going into an immature theatre--brought a lot of problems, a lot of communication problems from what was required from us over at the Middle East to get ready, perhaps. Why don't we start from there, sir?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Obviously, the first problem that we faced was deploying from Fort Campbell to the theatre of operations. And the first challenge in that regard was assisting the 101st Airborne Division and its deployment out of Fort Campbell. The 101st Support Group was a provisional organization at the time, a TDA1 organization at the time this deployment began. And the first mission that we had was to assist in deployment of the division.
Let me talk for just a moment about the structure of the group here at Fort Campbell, because it changed as we deployed at Southwest Asia. But let me talk about the structure of the group here at Fort Campbell. As we began deployment, as I said, it was a TDA organization--provisional support group. It consists of the 561st Supply and Service Battalion; it consists of the 29th Transportation Battalion; the 20th Engineer Battalion; the 86th Evacuation Hospital. There is also a 20th Replacement Detachment as part of the group and also the Air Assault School and the NCO2 Academy that are on post.
So our first effort was to mobilize the resources of the group to assist the division in its deployment. And we did that in a number of ways. Of course, we run the DACG3 operation here at Fort Campbell. We were deeply involved from the very earlier moments of notification in assisting the division in its deployment. The division deployed from Jacksonville, [Florida], as did we. We provided materiel assistance. In fact, we coordinated and ran the operation associated with the road march of division down to Jacksonville. We ran all the refuel points en route. We ran--coordinated--the overnight operation en route to Jacksonville. We had people at the port in Jacksonville coordinating the administration of logistics support of that effort. Once we began, [it was] a road march of about 4,000 vehicles, I suspect, in the division; maybe a few more than that. We were also assisting other people on post, the DOL4 notably. And the road march--I'm sorry, the line haul--of equipment to Jacksonville.
MAJ HONEC: Jacksonville, Florida?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Jacksonville, Florida. That's correct. We also assisted in the rail movement of what little bit of equipment in that division went by rail. But not very much at all. All of the equipment from the group went by rail. So in addition to that, we were deeply involved in transportation support, supply and service support here on the installation and the division, and all of those efforts for maintenance to prepare the division for its deployment. At one time during the deployment of the division, we were either running or deeply involved in assisting others to run an air operation, a line-haul operation, a convoy operation, a rail operation and a port operation.
MAJ HONEC: The group that was running the air operation. Could you identify those?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That was the 372d Transportation Company. It's a terminal transfer unit that ran the DACG operation here at Fort Campbell. Obviously a key link in any air movement in and out of Fort Campbell. The JI,5 assisting in all that, both equipment and passengers. So the organization was deeply involved in that respect. We were also assisting in the POR6 qualification of soldiers here at Fort Campbell. My medical units were involved in assisting in that effort. We were involved in issuing supplies to division soldiers immediately prior to deployment. Uniforms ...
MAJ HONEC: What was the status of that? Did you experience at severe shortage, and if so, what sort of shortages did you ... ?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Shortages of supplies and equipment?
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: I'm thinking back. A shortage ...
MAJ HONEC: Anything that was a show-stopper? If not, that's fine. We can go on.
COL BEAUCHAMP: I don't think there were any show-stoppers necessarily. A significant issue was the fact that we were doing everything on such very short notice. I think we deployed the division in something like forty-six days from the time notification was given to the time they began to arrive in the country. The first unit deployed out of here on the 18th of August--the 2d Brigade and Aviation [Brigade] Task Force. Then the other division units began to pull out very quickly after that.
Once we got through the division's deployment and assisting the division deployment, the next step then was to deploy the 101st Support Group. We were activated as a TOE organization on the 1st of October. And this had been in process for some time. Of course it received renewed impetus with the events in Southwest Asia. So we were transformed overnight from a TDA organization of about 30 people into a TOE organization of about 100 people. So during the month of September as the group was deploying the headquarters and preparing our battalions to deploy, we were receiving people and equipment simultaneously and then at the same time deploying ourselves to Saudi Arabia.
The initial deployment of the group was on 2 October, the advance party which went over with me; and the remainder of the group flowed into the theater then throughout the remaining month of October. We had almost all of the units from the group deployed. The only ones who did not deploy from the group were one company from the 20th Engineer Battalion, the 41st [Engineer] (Medium Girder Bridge) Company did not deploy. And the 20th Replacement Detachment did not deploy. But both those units played a key role in continuing to support the division and the group while we were at Saudi Arabia. The 20th Replacement Detachment still was deeply involved in processing replacements for shipment to theater, and the 41st then carried the bulk of the installation support functions that had been spread around to other units while we were deployed. So while they did not deploy, they played a very significant role in supporting the division while we were over there--deployed. So we began our deployment to the theatre on the 2d of October. Prior to that, we had shipped equipment to Fort Jacksonville during the month of September. That was completed at the very latter part of September. We moved all of our equipment by rail.
MAJ HONEC: Did you have any problems with rail movement?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, it went very smoothly. Of course we were our own support activity. There was nobody here to push us out at that point in time except the installation support functions, and they were very cooperative, very helpful in that regard--doing the last minute things, the maintenance and so forth. And we had then to do for ourselves as we had helped others do at that time. It was a major effort. The soldiers saw what needed to be done. They responded magnificently to that challenge and they understood intuitively how important this was and how critical it was to the overall effort. And I'm happy to tell you that we went through all this deployment with no ... some very dangerous work, long hours during the months of August and September, and had no serious injuries or damage to property. And we had some of the most hazardous operations you can imagine. We loaded equipment on trains in blinding rainstorms. We were doing it at night after a road march of some twenty miles out to the railhead, because we couldn't bring trains into the post at the time.
So the deployment effort from Fort Campbell was the first major challenge that we had.
MAJ HONEC: The refueling points, sir. What were they like along the road? How far did you have them dispersed out?
COL BEAUCHAMP: The first one was I guess about three hours to Mount Eagle, Tennessee. The second refuel point was at Atlanta. And the third one was at Valdosta, Georgia. And the final point of course was at port in Jacksonville. It was a two-day road march by vehicle--convoy--from here to Jacksonville.
MAJ HONEC: And they supplied obviously fuel and food, I suppose?
COL BEAUCHAMP: When the soldiers deployed from here, they took with them of course MREs.7 We didn't provide a lot of food en route except in Atlanta. There was food available at the overnight stop in Atlanta. And we worked very closely with people at Fort Gillem, a military activity there just outside of Atlanta, south of Atlanta, to accommodate our requirements. A very complex operation. A major operation considering the number of people that we moved, the amount of equipment that we moved, and the time frame in which we moved it. Again, accomplished with no major equipment losses or no serious injury to soldiers.
MAJ HONEC: Did you have enough communications, you felt, to at least be able to accomplish this task?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, during this phase of the operation, we relied primarily on the commercial telephone lines.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Communication is always an issue, and we'll talk more about that once we get into the deployed phase.
MAJ HONEC: What my point is, what I'm trying to get is, the unit used external as opposed to internal communications--both to a great extent, I would imagine. The internal resources were taxed also?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes, that's right. Of course the division ... they actually conducted the convoy themselves and provided their own march unit commanders and that sort of thing. So they used their organic communications I am sure. To manage and coordinate that operation, we relied primarily on commercial telephone lines. And a lot of hard work by people moving back and forth along that route of march. Some 660 miles from here to Jacksonville. A major undertaking when you start moving that much equipment that far in such a short period of time. And we ran, as I said, the operation initially at Camp Blanding, then at the port of Jacksonville, providing administrative and logistical support.
MAJ HONEC: What sort of hours ... what number of hours the troops were averaging putting in getting this thing to fruition?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Oh, it was long, I know that. You know, a lot of folks were putting in 14-, 16-, sometime 18-hour days during this phase. I wouldn't tell you every soldier was working this kind of hours, but most of them were, I can tell you that. Commanders and staff were deeply involved. It was a very strenuous and stressful period in trying to move all this stuff so quickly.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. One other question that comes to mind is when you were plussing up in personnel, where were they coming from? They active duty transfers in?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes, they were all active duty. We received the authority to activate I guess in early September with an effective date of 1 October. And once we received the authority to activate the unit and receive the UIC8 and the DODAC for the unit ... when the system began to be turned on and to fill up with people and equipment. We had the requisitions, all the requisitions; dropped the requisitions. And everyone responded very well in filling us up. The personnel system responded very well. Some people were assigned here on a permanent change of station. Some people were assigned for a short tour. For one year only to Southwest Asia. Some people were attached. Some people were sent TDY.9 So they used all the tools in the tool bag in the personnel business to fill us up with people and equipment.
Of course the challenge there was that we were receiving new people who had never been to the organization. Receiving new equipment at the same time we trying to pack and deploy ourselves at the same time. In a new organization and at the time we were the only unit in the United States Army operating under this TOE. We were the first support group (corps) activated under this TOE.
MAJ HONEC: I appreciate your pointing that out. I forgot the question. What do you think about that TOE now?
COL BEAUCHAMP: I think it's a great document. It requires some fine-tuning in some areas, but it provides the breadth and the depth of capability to manage logistics in a deployed theatre. There are some very innovative things in that document. For example, we have an organic contracting function--capability--in the organization. We have a host nation support which is really the S-5 kind of function. When you integrate the host nation support, the S-5, with a contracting capability, you have indeed a very, very potent capability for deployment operations. And that can very easily be extrapolated to a situation where we might deploy on a humanitarian mission for example, where you would need a contracting support function as you buy materials and supplies from the local economy and you would need to begin that interaction in the local economy. The integration of those two functions provides a very potent capability. It's a very good organization. A lot of effort, a lot of thought and a lot of hard work went into its production at the Log[istics] Center and other places. It's a very effective document, and we are very pleased with it.
MAJ HONEC: NBC training. Did you receive any more or more intensive NBC training than you normally do?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Absolutely; absolutely. That was a very, very significant part of our training overseas or prior to departing for Southwest Asia. We all knew of the threat of chemical weapons; that Saddam Hussein had shown no reluctance whatsoever to use those weapons previously. And I think it is fair to say that we all expected fully to encounter chemical weapons once we got to the theater. And that continued on into our deployment. We continued our training once we got into the theater with chemical equipment and protective equipment; protection equipment; and procedures for soldiers to treat themselves. And operating in a chemical environment. It was very, very intensive. I can say to you with absolute certainty because I attended many of those classes and watched the soldiers, there were no soldiers nodding off during the chemical defense training classes. Everybody understood and took that problem very, very seriously indeed.
MAJ HONEC: In the realm of chemical decontamination equipment, do you think that we have the appropriate equipment or ... and enough of it to say decontaminate your operation properly, considering the threat?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's such an enormous task when you start employing chemical weapons on a large scale.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: The equipment that we had, the MOPP10 equipment, we had a high level of confidence in. But when you start large-scale chemical decontamination, there's always the issue of supplies and equipment availability. We didn't have some of the most sophisticated equipment that's available in the inventory in the group at the time. We relied on the traditional Army methods of contamination. The chemical solutions. There was a lot of training on that.
Patient decontamination, casualty decontamination is a very significant issue. How you handle contaminated casualties in the graves registration points is a very significant issue. And we have to work through that I think in the Army and find a way to deal with that doctrinally. In my view, the doctrine is not very well developed and we don't practice the doctrine very well for handling casualties--graves registration kinds of issues. And of course a very significant aspect of that is how you handle chemical decontaminated casualties without then completely debilitating your casualty handling capability, as the handlers themselves become contaminated. You have to avoid that at all costs because that's a very thin structure in the best of circumstances.
MAJ HONEC: Any other deployment issues that ... which perhaps we haven't covered so far? How about family support groups?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Families of course always bear the brunt of these things. And I'm fond of observing that the smallest unit of organization in this Army is not the squad, it is the family. We developed a family support structure here at Fort Campbell in the 101st Support Group, and they did a splendid job of keeping families informed, working in conjunction with the other agencies on post, the rear detachment commander and his staff. A very, very significant aspect of this deployment. And knowing that this structure was in place back here, knowing that there was a mechanism in place to deal with family problems, and to reach out to those families, to help solve problems, gave us all in Southwest Asia a great peace of mind. Knowing that if there was a problem, the families would be taken care of. There was a structure back here, a legitimated structure of the Army and the rear detachment and the rear detachment commanders at battalion and company levels, and also the family support structure to work that.
The wives of the NCOs and the soldiers and the officers just did yeomen's work in working at it. A much more difficult process to execute than could ever be imagined if you had not been through that before as a person trying to coordinate and facilitate those kinds of family support functions. Clearly, it has to be said, that that was a key element in our overall success of this deployment. We were able to communicate with family support groups. We were able to deal with problems. It didn't solve all the problems, and I don't want to mislead anyone that it did, but I think it's fair to say that we were more successful than we've even been before in bringing in that structure into being and having it function effectively in support of soldiers and family members at this time and point. It was a tremendous asset for the Army.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, I guess we can move on into arriving in Southwest Asia. Where did you arrive and how did you arrive?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We ... of course we ... the soldiers flew over. Equipment was moved from the port of Jacksonville, Florida, to the port Dammam in Saudi Arabia. The group had an installation which we christened "GUARDIAN CITY" which was about six miles from King Fahd International Airport where the division was encamped. It was a 1,000-acre farm which had been leased just prior to our arrival there. I was the mayor of GUARDIAN CITY. At one time we had ... on the initial phase prior to our deployment north and into Iraq, we had over 6,000 soldiers living on the installation. Of course most of those did not work for me directly. They were from other units. And on the redeployment bank, we had upwards of 7,000 soldiers at one time on the installation. And we were providing a full range of installation support functions for those soldiers, in addition to bringing our own soldiers in and continuing our training in preparation for deployment. We began to receive our equipment I guess in early November or early to mid-November.
MAJ HONEC: Did you experience any shortages?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, there were no significant problems.
MAJ HONEC: How about the ships? Did they all arrive on time or did some of them break down?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, we didn't have any major problems with the units that deployed from Fort Campbell. There were some problems with some of the Reserve Component units that joined us and I'll talk more about that in a moment. But we didn't experience any major problems deploying with the group's equipment.
Now once we arrived in country there were some changes to our task organization. The hospital was re-task organized to the 44th Medical Brigade located at Fort Bragg. My engineer battalion was re-task organized to the 20th Engineer Brigade, also a Fort Bragg unit. And shortly after my arrival in country we picked up 553d Corps Support Battalion, a unit that had been deployed to Southwest Asia from Fort Hood, Texas. In addition, we began to receive Reserve Component units which had been activated and joined us in Saudi Arabia.
MAJ HONEC: Did they come full up in personnel and equipment?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Not full up in the sense that they were ALO-111 and not full up in all cases in terms of equipment and repair parts.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: But I had units from California; Oklahoma; I had units from Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania; New York City; [and] two units from Puerto Rico. About half of the structure of the group at that time (when it was finally developed) was from the Reserve Component--company-sized units.
MAJ HONEC: What was the opinion--your opinion--of the units coming in and how did it change during the ... during the ... ? You know, what I'm trying to say is what impression did the units coming in from the Reserves and the National Guard give you and then how did it change perhaps ... when the new units started working for you and you became more familiar with them?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Of course anyone that's been around the Army for a long time is familiar with and has to embrace the Total Army concept, because there simply is not enough structure in the active component, especially in the logistics areas, to satisfy all the requirements of an Active Army in a major deployment like that when you put a corps or two corps on line.
Reserve Component units that we received would mirror the same kind of distribution curve you would probably see if you picked units at random anywhere else in the Army. Some of them were very good. You had some that were not so good. And in most cases, that resolved around the leadership of those units and the kind of training and experience ... the kind of standards those units had. All in all, the Reserve Component units worked very hard. Some of them performed with great distinction. Some of those units I would not hesitate to go into combat with at any time. Some others require a lot of work.
But, again, I think that is true across the board and I think the same can be said in varying degrees of Active Army also. Some units are just better than others. And that was no different than in the Reserve Components. We had some that were simply outstanding in every respect. High standards, highly motivated, superb command structure, superb noncommissioned officer structure, leadership structure in the unit. Soldiers who were interested and motivated to do their jobs, took a lot of pride in what they do. Much of our association with Reserve Component units was good.
MAJ HONEC: Was positive overall?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes. And we had units from all over, as I said, performing all kinds of service. We had transportation units. We had supply and service units. We had field service units.
MAJ HONEC: Was their equipment up to date?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, it was not in all cases. We had some units that they told me they had taken equipment out of PDO12 yards as a matter of fact. They had old series equipment, vehicles. Some of the laundry and bath equipment was old vintage. We reissued some new equipment once we got in country--in some cases, not enough. But they did not in all cases have up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment. But neither did we, as a matter of fact, in our corps support group. That added to the challenge of course of supporting in that kind of environment.
MAJ HONEC: Of course. Did you receive any supplies from the preposition stock ships that were out there?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, not that it was visible to us. There could have been something that entered the theater stream some place. But we were not direct recipients. I'm sure ammunition and things like that, we might have gotten some of that. But that was not visible to us as far as the source was concerned. It's possible.
MAJ HONEC: That calls to mind another question. How long did it take for your support group's (on average) ... for the ships coming in, how long did it take for you to get unloaded at the Port of Dammam?
COL BEAUCHAMP: It went very quickly. We were spring-loaded to receive that equipment.
MAJ HONEC: Did you have a lot of roll-on and roll-off ships, or did you have a variety?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, we didn't have, for the group. Mostly break bulk, as a matter of fact, for the group.
MAJ HONEC: It's important to document that.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Of course, that takes a little longer, a little more difficult to unload those vehicles. But we were prepared for their arrival. We were anxious to get our equipment and anxious to get it limbered up and ready to work and to prepare it. It had been on a long sea voyage. We didn't know what we had to do. But a very harsh and different kind of terrain. We had to establish our maintenance activities, our organizational maintenance facilities and so forth. So we were anxious about that. Anxious to get it and anxious to get to work with it. So that went very quickly, once the equipment arrived.
MAJ HONEC: Did you have enough support to set up your operations? Say, for the engineers to build ... did you have enough Class IV to protect your equipment, set up the necessary protective berms and wire and whatever?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We deployed of course with basic loads, with what we could get. We had a big area to cover. And of course it was a period of uncertainty. We didn't know what to expect with respect to terrorist activities and things like that. But that was one of the first responsibilities, to get into our location and to set up our defensive operations so that we could secure our equipment and our people. And I won't say that we always had enough of what we needed. We bought some stuff on the local economy and we were fortunate in that Saudi Arabia has a very well-developed economic infrastructure. It is not a Third World country where materials and supplies are not available.
MAJ HONEC: Did you have particular suppliers that worked well with you?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We worked with the contracting activities for the most part.
MAJ HONEC: So you weren't divorced from them?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. My people ran the contracting activities, as a matter of fact. For the XVIII Airborne Corps, I think I'm correct in saying that of about twelve people that were in the Corps contracting office, three of those came from the 101st Support Group.
MAJ HONEC: Go ahead, put a plug in for yourselves.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We had about 25 percent of the people, the contracting officers, in that operation. And we made good use of the local economy. It was very important in that case where we integrated the host nations support functions as well.
MAJ HONEC: Food service. How did that go?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We provided our own food service. It was a ... they loved the MREs throughout deployment, and later on the MORE meals that were introduced as a ...
MAJ HONEC: But you weren't receiving Class As?13
COL BEAUCHAMP: We did not eat Class As every day.
MAJ HONEC: From the host nation feeding system.
COL BEAUCHAMP: No. There were some contract feeding facilities in operation. We did not have a contract feeding facility on the deployment, on the initial phase. Coming back on the redeployment, we did establish a contract feeding operation in GUARDIAN CITY when we came back in out of Iraq in preparation for redeployment. Initially we fed ourselves with our own MKTs14 and our own equipment. For Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, we did it with all the trimmings, as did everyone else. Initially we didn't have a lot of A Ration meals. Some B Rations and MREs which the service people did a great job in keeping us well-fed and used a lot of imagination and creativity in making those B Rations and MREs and supplements.15 We did receive supplements of course with the MREs.
MAJ HONEC: What sort of supplements?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Sodas, fresh fruit, cakes, things of that nature.
MAJ HONEC: I see.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Which made them a lot more palatable, of course.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Going back to the compound in GUARDIAN CITY, was that a particularly good place to set up?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, it was an excellent place. I went out and looked at it the first day or so in country.
MAJ HONEC: What was the soil like?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Most of the installation ... it was actually 1,000 acres roughly divided into two 500-acre plots. One plot was about 60 percent software, which is damp sand. Excellent trafficability. Limited dust problem. It was a farm, as a matter of fact; more of a wheat farm. So it was an excellent terrain for us. It was self-contained. It was large enough to park our equipment in. It had good proximity to the port. Good proximity to King Fahd International Airport. Good proximity to the main supply routes, which made it a very attractive operation for me when I moved in and saw it. There were some facilities on the installation which we were able to take advantage of. Some trailers; a house that we were able to set up our operations in initially before we had our equipment in. And water. It had its own installation. We had nine wells. We had a very abundant supply of water which was critical coming in but super-critical in the redeployment as we were taking our equipment out. We cleaned about 2,500 vehicles on the installation on a vehicle cleaning operation we set up using an irrigation system. You have seen these I am sure in the United States and in Saudi Arabia, an irrigation system that is mounted to the well and a long row of sprayers that rotate around ...
MAJ HONEC: Right. Elevated ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. Patches.
MAJ HONEC: Elevated, so that they basically do an arc.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right.
MAJ HONEC: In sending the water out.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. We modified one of those and used it as a vehicle cleaning station. We had 33 stations on it. But lots of water. That was a key factor on the installation. So it served us very well.
MAJ HONEC: The quality of the water--it wasn't brackish?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, it was very high quality water, as a matter of fact.
MAJ HONEC: High quality of water?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Very, very high quality of water. We had no problems with it.
MAJ HONEC: You didn't need to process it?
COL BEAUCHAMP: It was processed. We had water production units on post.
MAJ HONEC: But I mean extensively processed.
COL BEAUCHAMP: No. With regular ROWPUs.16 With probably some acclimation you could probably drink it. But it had a high salt content. It wasn't brackish; it wasn't salt water--it was fresh water.
MAJ HONEC: Mineral.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes. Mineral content. It was like taking a dose of Epsom salts. It would loosen you up a little bit, that's what I'm talking about. [LAUGHTER] It was not to the point of making you sick as brackish water or that sort of thing. In fact, the water coming out of some of the artesian wells was about 91 degrees, in the coldest months. If you could get water directly out of the well--we did it in some cases--it was warm enough to shower. We had outside showers. There were some excellent resources on the installation.
Of course, there's some baggage that comes with running an installation with 6,000 soldiers. You've got security; you've got things like garbage collection, road maintenance, communications. Loads of things that we had to do, that we had to absorb in the group out of our group structure.
MAJ HONEC: How did you handle communications?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We had a signal element that was with us at GUARDIAN CITY that established communications. And as we deployed, one of the problem we had, perhaps we'll talk about it later on, is a communication support in corps support groups. But we had ... every time we deployed, we had a signal element that joined us (in the corps signal brigade17) to establish communications for us.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Road maintenance. Where did that come
from? And did you have enough of it? Whenever you needed it, was it there?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, we did most of the work ourselves on the installation. The engineer battalion, as I said, that I had here was detached from me, once we got into the country. We didn't receive a lot of support from other engineer elements. We have some organic equipment and some bulldozers and things like that. So we did a lot of our work. And a little later, we leased some equipment. Some road graders as well. So it was again an operation that we took out of our hide to support. In addition, we set up our maintenance activities there, and we set up field service activities, field supply operations were set up and operating; all group functions that were necessary. We began our deployment from GUARDIAN CITY in late November and from there moved about 110-120 miles north to An Nu'ariya, BASTOGNE--[Forward] Operating Base BASTOGNE.
MAJ HONEC: What route did you take? The MSRs.
COL BEAUCHAMP: The MSR AUDI. How did we get there? Okay, up Tapline Road.18
MAJ HONEC: Okay. DODGE. You had to get to SULTAN [Range] by going up to ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: And we went to AUDI up to by [Al] Jubayl, and then on DODGE from there to An Nu'ariya. We eventually moved headquarters in early December--late November or early December we moved. We had two battalions there and the group headquarters. We were there until we were redeployed the next phase up to [near] Rafha, in Tactical Assembly Area [TAA] CAMPBELL where the [101st Airborne] Division was located. The 29th Corps Support Battalion19 stayed at GUARDIAN CITY, and then in late December, perhaps the first week in January, the deployed directly from GUARDIAN CITY to King Khalid Military City [KKMC]. So you see kind of the leap-frog effect here. The battalion ... the group and elements of group moved forward 110 miles, and then a short time later the 29th Trans Battalion bounded over and moved another 250 miles up to King Khalid Military City. And then as soon as the ground war started on the 17th of January, they were ideally positioned to move quickly into Rafha and set up the airfield operation there and establish the Rapid Refuel Point [RRP] which was a pacing event for the 101st Airborne Division.
MAJ HONEC: Oh, really?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Absolutely. We had a million gallons of fuel. We set up that Rapid Refuel Point and serviced almost 5,000 helicopter sorties while they were in operation. We had almost a million gallons of fuel--150,000 gallons of fuel for storage capability. That was absolutely critical. They began deployment on the 17th of January into Rafha, the Tactical Assembly Area [TAA] CAMPBELL. They began pumping fuel. They arrived on the 18th and they were pumping fuel on the 21st.
MAJ HONEC: Quite impressive.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That was very, very impressive.
MAJ HONEC: That's quite a short time to be setting up a fuel point like that and make sure everything is squared away. How long did the troops work to get that accomplished?
COL BEAUCHAMP: It was a round-the-clock operation, that's right. We didn't have all 25 points in, of course, in two days. We worked with division engineers who were laying out the ground. We planned for that. But we moved in, set up the airfield operation in Rafha--at the airfield in Rafha there--in preparation for receipt of the soldiers that were moving in from King Khalid--I mean King Fahd--by air. And we had moved some 18,000 soldiers through there on the deployment phase, both 101st Airborne Division soldiers and also 82d Airborne Division soldiers and some Corps soldiers as well at Rafha.20 Setting up the Corps headquarters and Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL, the assembly areas for the 82d, and so forth. Lots of transportation support at Rafha. We moved those also with our own transportation units.
At the same time we began to move in the remaining corps support battalions that were in the An Nu'ariya at the same time and the group headquarters into Rafha. And to set up the remainder of our operations. We had maintenance operations, all our transportation, field services, fuel, the line-haul transportation of fuel. A full range of logistics support functions would be performed within a very short period of time there at Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL strung out along the MSR--MSR DODGE. A major undertaking. A major effort. We had showers, laundry and bath. Let me just give you some numbers very quickly.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir. That would be helpful.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Of this whole overall exercise for the group. You can go back and check the details, but I'm very, very close. We drove, during the course of this whole deployment, almost 6 million miles in the group. That is about ten times the moon round trip. We did about 77,000 to 80,000 showers, field showers. We moved 118,000 tons of cargo. We moved about 35,000 soldiers. We moved--I think the number is about 40,000 tons of ammunition. Did six thousand maintenance jobs. We baked for the soldiers 33,000 dozen cookies during this period.
MAJ HONEC: Those were from the operation near Log Base CHARLIE, sir?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. In the group. We did 50,000 loaves of bread. And this is group-wide, [the] operation we're talking about. We moved about ten million gallons of fuel and water during that period, to the soldiers in that area. The full range of logistics support functions were being formed in Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL prior to our deployment into Iraq. Of course, you know about that. We were up there about a little more than thirty days before we went forward. Soldiers doing things that soldiers do for other soldiers. Working hard under very difficult circumstances, as you know. They did a great job in that. There were some problems through the deployment as a matter of fact, and I should talk about this.
MAJ HONEC: Good.
COL BEAUCHAMP: The logistics system, especially for Class IX (for repair parts), was a very, very significant problem. That system never matured to support us in a routine way.
MAJ HONEC: From your view, why? Why? What was the problem?
COL BEAUCHAMP: I don't have visibility, of course, above the corps level and I have some visibility within the corps. The theater distribution system never came alive, in my view, so that cargo was received from the strategic distribution system, into the theater, and then introduced into corps distribution stream. That's where we picked it up, both as transporters within the corps and as service--combat service support--elements within the corps. We did all the right things we thought before we left here in terms of changing all the TAT codes, notifying all the appropriate agencies of those changes. But there was a breakdown and that system on which we were critically dependent, never game alive for us in the theater. Consequently I had units with ASLs21 that had very, very high zero balances. PLLs22 that were 40, 50, 60 percent zero balances.
We began ... in some cases as we began our deployment into Iraq. A very disturbing consideration. Just before we deployed, a matter of two or three days before we deployed into Iraq, we began to see the arrival in large quantity of repair parts. Of course at that point when you are two days away from deployment, it's much like trying to drink from a fire hose. You can't absorb those because of the magnitude of the effort involved in breaking it down, distributing and stocking and that sort of thing. That material has to be received in digestible pieces over a period of time. And that is the way the system is designed to work. It never worked for us that way in Saudi Arabia. And that's a great concern. The strategic distribution system has to be fully integrated with the theater and the corps distribution system, because we got good systems in place and we are dependent on those systems to move materiel very quickly from the CONUS23 support base to theater. And we cannot afford for that process to get constipated because soldiers pay the price when that happens. Some of the most critical material; repair parts, medical materiel, and other things as well.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: It's an enormous undertaking to do all of that and I understood the magnitude of that challenge, but it is simply one we can't overlook. It's critical to our success. And the longer we're involved in sustaining operations, the more critical it becomes. It is one thing to fight a six-month war or a 100-hour war, but over the longer term, equipment begins to break more frequently, and those become really critical problems that have to be addressed in the long-term. Sustainment is what enables you to win the war. Sustainment means a steady flow of materiel in digestible increments that can be absorbed by units and be delivered to soldiers who need it on the battlefield.
MAJ HONEC: We can go into ... oh, I know, let's go back. Did you have to extensively change your plan from deployment to arrival to the actual, through the DESERT SHIELD situation? Did you have enough information, you feel, back here, to produce a plan that weathered well or did it have to be changed?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes.
MAJ HONEC: Good.
COL BEAUCHAMP: In the group, before we deployed as a matter of fact, we laid out some possible scenarios that we thought we might encounter. Of course we were just establishing the group. I didn't a planning staff at that point, remember now.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We had a very, very small staff here. We didn't have a planning staff until we got in country. Let me go back and talk a little bit about how we organized there. The first thing we did when we got in country, we had to have a place to live, of course, and we acquired GUARDIAN CITY. The first three or four weeks I had the group headquarters staff, and we engaged in a very, very, very intensive training and orientation process in which I was deeply involved, and my support operations officer, who was a new staff officer. My executive officer was still back here because he was coordinating the deployment of the remainder of the group, the battalions that would take into Iraq a little later. But I had a brand new staff that didn't know each other and a brand new organization, the likes of which nobody had ever seen because it was the only one in the Army at the time operating under that structure.
So the first thing we did was get acquainted and we spent about three, four weeks in a very intensive orientation process where we worked through the mission. We thought we had that well-defined for both the defensive phase and the offensive phase. But we went from what is the requirement for support in our area; what is our capability in the group to provide that support; what is the structure then, the task organization structure which should flow from that. And we used that as a vehicle for the training of the staff. We went through and derived from scratch what we thought the support problems would be based on the supported density--the number of people we would be supporting, we thought. For Class I, Class II and IV, Class III (Package and bulk)--fuel food, ammunition, maintenance support, transportation support. So we went through that again. The staff worked through what is the requirement, based on the supported density; what is our capability in the group in terms of the units we had to provide that support; and what should the structure look like as far as the task organization. So we went from requirements to capability to structure. Over and over again we went through that. We looked at it, tried to reduce things down to digestible pieces again.
What is the problem? Why is it a problem? What should be done about it? Who should do it? And when should it be done? The five key questions that I kept pounding over and over again. We had to quickly bring ourselves up to speed to think and function as a group because we were a brand new organization. So the model for that became what I called the five key questions. Where are we located on the battlefield? Why are we located there instead of someplace else? How do we support from that location, logistically; how does the group support from that location? How do we get support at that location by those who must support us? How do we displace from that location, considering when we displace, to where we will displace, and in what sequence we displace to maintain and provide continuity in support to the group?
We went through those kind of battle drills, those kind of combat logistic drills with the staff and worked through those for every class of supply, for every supply and service function that we performed in the battlefield. And it was a very intense period. Lots of 24-hour days as a matter of fact. There were occasions when the staff was briefing me at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. We had to work back through those. But it pain big dividends for us, the staff and the officers and the senior NCOs just responded magnificently to that challenge. At the same time we are doing that, we are establishing a support base also to receive the rest of the group as they began to arrive. It was a very trying period for us; it was a very hectic period; one in which we derived a lot of satisfaction because the staff did it very, very well. They worked very hard at it.
MAJ HONEC: So it weathered very well.
COL BEAUCHAMP: It weathered very well, indeed. That's right.
MAJ HONEC: It was an extensive planning effort. Go ahead, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Let's talk a moment about the corps support group and how the corps support group supports.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Of course the 101st Support Group has an habitual association with the 101 Airborne Division. In addition, we have the responsibility to provide support on area basis in our sector. If you look at a division sector in a developed corps, you are apt to find there are two divisions worth of fighters in there. For example, we were supporting in the defensive phase about 31,000 soldiers--I'm sorry, about 28,000 soldiers--and in the offensive phase about 31,000 soldiers. That's when you take the division, the engineer group, [and] the aviation group that's in our sector. Other units that are operating in a sector, my own organization. When you add these together, you end up with a lot of people supporting in the division area that require support by other than divisional elements because the DISCOM24 commander has his hands full trying to support the division.
So we have two missions. I have got to support the division--for general support, mostly. Not much direct support but general support for fuel, transportation support and that sort of thing. But in addition I have to stand sort of as a DISCOM for the artillery (the corps artillery), for example, another major component, a major player in the division area. Corps engineers--a key player. If there are aviation elements, corps aviation elements. All of which are vitally dependent on us for support because they have no DISCOM, which in turn the division needs for their support to reinforce and supercharge the capability of the divisions, the combat capability of the divisions.
So with supporting 28,000 soldiers, you can see that's almost two divisions. When we deployed for the offensive phase, we were supporting about 31,000 soldiers during that period. So again you can see about two divisions worth of support being provided by the group. The division boundaries provide the basic reference point for our support area, but with the COSCOM25 commander we can adjust those boundaries where necessary to equalize and optimize our support capability within the COSCOM. And we did that on occasion, in Saudi Arabia.
MAJ HONEC: Can you give me some instances where you ... where that ... besides in Rafha you set up the airport operations, the Rapid Refueling Point which supported the corps ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: Primarily the division, but other corps units as well. Primarily the air assault of the division into Iraq. That was a pacing event of course for that whole offensive engagement on the western flank. The 101st Airborne Division played a key role in that and that Rapid Refuel Point is what made that good. There were helicopters with no fuel, and that makes pilots tourists in the country. And that was critical in that.
MAJ HONEC: Good, good. Okay. Any other instances during the STORM/SHIELD phase where you had to adjust. Do you recall, were you called upon to support other units specifically.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes. Through the operation, we were supporting. In the defensive phase, in Operation DESERT SHIELD, we were supporting the division. I had one battalion who was devoted to supporting the cav[alry] the ACR from Fort Bliss.26 And, again, engineers, the MPs27 and the signal units and all the MI28--all the units that were operating in the division area in my sector was my responsibility to support.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. I wanted to point that out. [LAUGHTER]
COL BEAUCHAMP: And also echelon above corps [EAC] units that were operating in our sector we supported as well when they were there. Transportation units, for example. If somebody was driving through and needed support, we wouldn't say, what unit are you or what unit are you from? If they need support, needed fuel, then we gave them fuel. If they needed food, we established a support relationship with them. If they needed maintenance, we established a support relationship and gave them that support. And we adjusted those supported boundaries in the defense phase, on one occasion that I recall specifically, because another support in the COSCOM, the area was based on where the preponderance of their capability was required, the support density. We adjusted the boundaries so I picked up part of the northern edge theirs, because I was deployed further north than they were, to optimize the capability of both units into COSCOM.
MAJ HONEC: What unit was that? Which corps support group?
COL BEAUCHAMP: The 171st Corps Support Group.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. I guess we can move on to ... . Any other defensive issues?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Let's talk about the defensive phase. Of course, the distances are always a key factor in supporting over long distances.
MAJ HONEC: In this operation, very significant. How did it affect your operation?
COL BEAUCHAMP: In the defense phase, of course, we were supporting over about 150 miles, I guess, from the port up to the FOB at BASTOGNE until we began to deploy for DESERT STORM. We moved over into Rafha. Of course, a lot of miles driven. As I said before, you can quickly understand the magnitude of that challenge if you look at the number of miles that we drove over that period of time with our vehicles moving supplies and equipment and materiel and soldiers around the battlefield.
MAJ HONEC: Did this require hot-seating, if you will? The truck never shut down, you would just switch drivers?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, the truck had to shut down because if you don't do maintenance, then it doesn't operate very long under those kind of conditions. So we had to have a very aggressive maintenance program because those transportation units are really our lifeline. I've used the formulation before, which makes a lot of sense to me. People talk about the tooth-to-tail ratio. Well, I don't believe in the tooth-to-tail ratio and I think that's the wrong formulation to draw when you talk about the respective relationship developments on the battlefield.
A great army at war or a great army on the battlefield is like a living organism; it's like a body. You have the combat elements which are the teeth. You have the logistic support elements which are the muscle to sustain that capability and you have the transportation units which are really the sinews that tie together those muscles. So if you use that formulation, I think you get a much better picture of the role and the critical interdependent relationship between the combat forces and the combat logistics elements on the battlefield. Because one can't succeed in the long-term without the other.
We have some magnificent fighting forces in our army but without the logistics sustaining capability, then they are of limited utility for a limited period of time. It takes a whole team doing that and those transportation units and those combat logistics elements are key players. My soldiers are proud of the role they played in DESERT STORM and making that body come alive and live throughout this whole operation. And they worked very hard to do that.
We talked a little bit about the echelons above corps support. I understand the challenge associated with going into a theater and building a theater support base from the ground up. An enormous, enormous challenge; I understand that. Bringing in units who have never worked together for from both the Active Army and Reserve Component--a very, very complex undertaking under the very best of circumstances. I didn't expect it to be perfect and it was not perfect. The price of perfection is too high. We did it very quickly. We did it on a very large scale. And there were a lot of soldiers to be supported.
There are some areas I talked about earlier, especially in my own view with respect to repair parts that I was most concerned about. That requires, I think, the Army to take a look at and develop systems and to train people to make you understand things like that direct support system and the air-line communications logistics support. Because those are critical elements now of our logistical support structure. When we move that quickly, that far, then we have got to have the supporting structure, which is already in existence doctrinally in the Army, to make it function.
And that requires an understanding and training on the relationship that exists between the Army and the Air Force for strategic mobility; the Army and the Navy, for strategic sea lift; the deployed theater and the wholesale support base at CONUS. The depots in the United States, not only in the Army but also in the Defense Logistics Agency. All of those systems and all of those pieces had to fit together and come together in providing a strategic distribution system that moves materiel from the CONUS support base to the soldiers in the battlefield in the very shortest possible time. Because we've structured the Army now so that I can't carry everything that I need. I can't stock all the repair parts, for example, that I need to sustain me for a 45- or a 60-day period. We have a system in place that's intended to be able to provide those repair parts to me in a short period of time, in three weeks or so. Three or four weeks.
All that has to be put together and once it gets into the theater, there has to be a mechanism in place in the theater to move it from that strategic distribution system, that strategic distribution stream, into the theater stream and into the corps stream very quickly. If the system constipates anyplace, then the soldier at the receiving end at that time suffers. That may be an infantry soldier. It may be an artillery soldier. It may be an armor soldier. It may be a logistics soldier who needs that repair part, or those medical supplies, or Class II and IV, whatever the case may be, or Class III Package to support him. We need to some work on that end.
MAJ HONEC: On the Class IX shortages, to go back to that, do you think that the shortages we experienced in the short term was because the industrial base wasn't called upon to provide those in the very beginning, and so we didn't have them in the system?
COL BEAUCHAMP: I don't have a good perspective on that. I think they were in the system. I feel fairly confident, though again, I'm speculating on that point.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Most of what we needed was in the system. When you start looking at our reserves, theater reserves and the war reserve stockage and so forth, I think the principal problem was distribution. That's my own view of the situation. I'm not looking for perfection in this regard. I'm not looking for 100 percent satisfaction of everything we need. But I'm looking for a system that provides and develops quickly to provide me some sustaining capability over a long period of time. That did not come to fruition.
MAJ HONEC: It never got well, except for toward the end there, as I understand it, you did start receiving a lot of parts.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Just before we deployed into Iraq, we received a lot at one time. But again, that system ...
MAJ HONEC: That was the wrong time to be doing that.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. It took too long.
MAJ HONEC: I understand.
COL BEAUCHAMP: You've got to be able to absorb it. You can't go without eating for a week and then all of a sudden sit down and absorb five meals, or ten meals at one time. That's kind of an analogue of what we were doing.
MAJ HONEC: What do you think happens in the mail system up there, sir?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's a good question. There are three things that concern soldiers, I think. Mail, food and pay. Of course mail is that vital link back home. The problems were ameliorated to some degree this time because we had telephones, you know. This was, I think, the only war in history in which the United States was engaged where it was fairly easy for a soldier to call home. And it became even easier the longer the deployment occurred. But mail was a key issue. That was always a source of consternation for us, again because we were deploying large numbers of soldiers in a very short period of time. And most of the units are operated by soldiers, many of which came (as a matter of fact) from the Reserve Components. Some decisions were made, I'm sure, with respect to how that was going to be handled. And probably in retrospect, it would have been differently if they'd had a chance. Mail was a problem for the soldiers at the time. And at some points it moved very smoothly. As long as we were stabilized in one place for a long period of time. But mail was a continuing issue throughout with soldiers who didn't the mail system was responding quickly enough.
[END OF SIDE ONE, TAPE ONE]
MAJ HONEC: Going back. There was a telephone operation run at King Khalid Military City. Did your troops ... were your troops able to use those?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Some of them were. Of course we had only a few units at KKMC for a short period of time. But units passing through, I'm sure they took advantage of that. There were telephones at King Fahd initially on the redeployment bank. There was a telephone bank at Log Base CHARLIE. There was a telephone bank with the 3d ACR near An Nu'ariya on the defensive phase. But coming back into GUARDIAN CITY, we eventually acquired a telephone bank at GUARDIAN CITY with about 110 telephones for the soldiers there.
MAJ HONEC: This would have been in March of this year?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes, March.
MAJ HONEC: So the mail never really got well for your support group?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, the soldiers would tell you that the mail system was not as good as they thought it was going to be. I told soldiers throughout, you know, that deployed initially. And remember that these units are moving at the same time we're moving, too. It's not like we're going to a situation ... to an area where the post office is already set up. The post office has to be moved in and it has to be set up, it has to receive ... they have to receive your mail and process it. Of course, we received an enormous quantity of mail in the theater, "any soldier" mail.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, was that a problem? The great quantities and packages, deluging the system.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Probably. I think the system was probably overwhelmed with any "soldier mail" and packages that were certainly well-intended. People in the United States were a great solace to the soldiers. But I have to be honest with you, if you ask a soldier would you rather have an "any soldier" letter or a letter from your wife, what do you think he's going to say?
MAJ HONEC: It's a foregone conclusion, sir. It's his wife.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. But certainly that's a ... when you're developing a theater like that so quickly, you're bound to have some of those kinds of problems. But we have to play close attention to that on future deployments. We have to pay close attention to those kinds of basic needs of soldiers. I think everybody understands that. It's not a lesson we need to relearn. We need to look not at the experiences of this deployment and see how we can now make the system work better in support of soldiers.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: And it may have been unique in the vast outpouring of support from the American people. But then again, the American people had more information about this war than ever before. They saw it on their TV screens every day. And the great support we had was absolutely key and essentially vital to our success there--a great, great impact on soldier morale. Those soldiers knew then were appreciated. They know the American people understood what they were doing. So there were countervailing issues associated with this issue of "any soldier" mail and packages.
MAJ HONEC: Yes. Would you say the volume of mail certainly did show the support back home.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Absolutely. There's no question about it. There were hundreds of tons of mail every month in the theater.
MAJ HONEC: You have to have a tradeoff there somewhere.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. There are both sides to that issue.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Host nation support. We talked about that a little bit.
MAJ HONEC: Also did you have any dealings with the allied forces?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No association with the allied forces at all; very limited association. So limited I would say it was almost nonexistent. We did have substantial interaction with local people in the theater.
MAJ HONEC: You had contracting.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Contracting, that's right. Buying repair parts and materials from the local economy.
COL BEAUCHAMP: As a matter of fact when we moved into the Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL at Rafha, one of my units was the first one in there. My host station support officer made contact with officials in the City of Rafha who ran the water treatment plant in Rafha, which was a private operation, and arranged for delivery at no cost to us. They left 400,000 gallons of potable water every day from that plant, supporting not only the units I supported but the entire corps in that area. The French took advantage of that; the XVIII Airborne Corps ... a tremendous asset which ... the initial contact was made by my host nation support officer. Which was one of the things we ought to be doing because one of my concerns in that area was water ... how do we get water? So we had substantial interaction with that agency and officials in the City of Rafha.
For example, when we ran the RRP, the City of Rafha provided us with fire protection--moved fire trucks, a fire team, out to the Rapid Refuel Point and worked with an engineer fire-fighting detachment that was there to provide us with fire-fighting capability. A very, very critical operation, refueling almost 5,000 helicopters in a very short period of time. A million gallons of fuel; 25 refuel points in that operation. You can understand, fire protection is a key element there. We worked closely with city officials in the City of Rafha where we had lots of logistic operations going on there. Close station support. Officers from the 101st Support Group were deeply involved in all of those activities with the city in support of the group in support of the division.
MAJ HONEC: Excellent host nation support from your standpoint, from your side. Had, really, relatively few if any problems, lots of value added.
COL BEAUCHAMP: A lot of value-added support. And I would say to you, I was particularly fortunate that I had an officer who was very, very bright and very, very energetic who enjoyed very much what he was doing. He taught himself to speak Arabic as a matter of fact in country. And many of the Saudi nationals that I came in contact with were very complimentary concerning his ability to speak the language. He spoke no Arabic when he was assigned to this group, which was about ten days before he was deployed, as a matter of fact.
MAJ HONEC: Is that right? You'll have to identify him, sir. Who is he?
COL BEAUCHAMP: CPT Mack Easty.
MAJ HONEC: How do you spell his last name?
COL BEAUCHAMP: E-a-s-t-y. CPT Easty was preparing to leave the Army when he was notified for deployment. He was going to work for the Drug Enforcement Administration. They gave him relief from the commitment for this deployment. He has returned back to the United States and is now in the process of leaving the service to go to work for the Drug Enforcement Administration. We were very fortunate.
And we had some great contracting people. What we tried to do was make the contracting function a direct support logistic function in support of soldiers on the battlefield. We tried to make that work there. It was a new concept; it had never been done that way before.
MAJ HONEC: Yes. Is it? That's what I was done to ask. Is it a new concept?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, it's new in the way we tried to implement that. I tried to integrate the contracting and the host nation support functions so if you're a soldier in the battlefield and need some support. Let's say you're an infantry battalion commander and you need some support, say, "well how do I get this?" What I want you be able to do, as you would for any other support ... logistic support requirement, if I'm your support ... say I need a widget, it's not available in the supply system but I really must have this widget for my operation. My host nation support office, through their interaction in the local community, in developing sources in the community, would help him identify a source for that product. My host nation contracting staff or contract administration staff would then assist him in writing up a statement of work for procurement. That would then be processed through the infantry battalion commander's chain of command, upon certifying, and then go to the contracting office who then has a good statement of the requirement because a contract-oriented person has assisted the customer in developing that, so he gets a document that he can work with immediately. He then goes to the source, buys material and delivers it back into the logistics system to the customer. That's the way I want to see it work.
MAJ HONEC: Fantastic. You say perhaps we put that as a mainstream, maybe perhaps integrate that particular methodology.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Absolutely. I think it's critical and will become ever more critical when we look at deployments--smaller deployments--when you're deploying maybe not a corps, maybe even not a division, but maybe a brigade or a battalion or a brigade task force, a battalion task force, where you have to have that sustaining capability. This is in many respects a new concept we've got to more fully develop to get everybody kind of on the same frequency concerning how this ought to operate. We had great success in our host nation support in Saudi Arabia. Tremendous value-added capability to the logistic support operations of a corps support group. And we need to continue to develop and exploit that capability.
MAJ HONEC: Any other deployment or DESERT SHIELD issues before we go into [the] DESERT STORM offensive phase?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We talked about Reserve Component elements before, and ...
MAJ HONEC: To concentrate mainly--well, we actually have touched upon all phases.
COL BEAUCHAMP: All phases is right.
MAJ HONEC: But were progressing on. Go ahead. You were talking Reserve Components again.
COL BEAUCHAMP: A question was raised earlier about whether or not we had worked with any Reserve Component before we deployed into Saudi Arabia, and the answer to that question was no. We met all those units for the very first time in Saudi Arabia.
MAJ HONEC: That must have been a shock to both the units and you.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, it was. There was some acclimation required I remember of the unit. One unit from Puerto Rico came in on Christmas Eve. It was very, very cold in Saudi Arabia and of course you go into the desert and some people don't understand it gets very cold in the desert during the winter.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir. Did they have a problem with inappropriate equipment, being extremely light--without jackets perhaps. Did they experience any instance of ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, they got quite a shock of course when they came in; the weather was a lot colder. But everybody had sleeping bags and everybody has ...
MAJ HONEC: Okay. So it really wasn't ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: It was just the unexpected weather conditions. Of course, people think it doesn't rain in the desert, but it does rain on occasion in the desert. We experienced some of those conditions as well.
MAJ HONEC: Did the ground over in GUARDIAN CITY handle rain very well?
COL BEAUCHAMP: It didn't rain while we were there to any large degree. The kind of terrain that we were on of course can be very susceptible to heavy rain but we were very fortunate that we didn't experience any problems at the time we were there.
MAJ HONEC: Some other units did, but yours didn't?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, we didn't have a problem. Not a problem. One thing we would probably be remiss if we left without talking about it is material-handling equipment [MHE]. You know, in all your life you've never seen a movie--a John Wayne movie--made about a forklift operator or forklifts. But I can tell you things like forklifts, and container handlers, and wreckers--those are the lifeblood of our logistics system. When you start moving large quantities of materiel, ammunition, supplies, those are the things that make the system work--absolutely indispensable now to our operation. We took our own MHE over there, it was old--older in some cases than the soldiers that I had operating it. It performed very well for us. A lot of dedicated work by maintenance people to keep it operating and keep it working. They did a tremendous job. We received late in the deployment some additional material-handling equipment that were able to reach Fort Bliss and be shipped before the unit left from Fort Hood. But didn't arrive until very late in the deployment, until the offensive phase of the operation.
MAJ HONEC: Oh, okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Fort Bliss, when you talk about equipment though, is very, very important to what we did. Let me say something else also about the corps support group and the multifunctional doctrine. The corps support group is a multifunctional organization--multifunctional meaning that supply and maintenance and ammunition and fuel support and field services are all managed under one organization. We re-task organized the battalions to make them corps support battalions, multifunctional corps support battalions in Saudi Arabia. I firmly believe that that's clearly the way the Army ought to be going; that's the way it functions best because it gives us flexibility we never had before. It gives us depth we never before and the capability to respond quickly that we never had before in the forward area of the battlefield.
They were not all mirror images of each other, but we have to have corps support battalions multifunctional because war is a multifunctional operation. It economizes a number of people that the supported customer has to deal with and I think is a key element in sustaining and supporting a large operation on the battlefield, now and into the future. The volume and velocity of consumption of fuel and ammunition and food and water and repair parts on the modern battlefield, when you're talking about the modern system, is so great that we simply don't have time now to have systems that kind of ... operate sequentially. And we don't have ... commanders don't have time to coordinate with four or five guys, you know, one for maintenance, one for supply and service, one for field services and one for ammunition.
The corps support battalions now give us an integrated structure to do that, so he's dealing with one guy, for example. The infantry battalion commander or company commander or an armor company commander or whatever the case may be, is dealing with one guy. If he wants to talk to a lieutenant colonel about fuel, instead of ... and he's talking to a battalion commander instead of a group commander or a brigade commander or a DISCOM commander. A great innovation in logistics support for the Army and one which we have to continue to develop in order to give us that extra measure, that extra dimension of capability on the modern battlefield.
I think the evolution of multifunctional corps support groups, corps support battalions, following the evolution of forward support battalions in the divisions is representative of the modernization of the structure in the Army to take advantage of the modernization in our equipment structure in the Army. Because as I said those increased velocities of consumption, you have to have a support organization that can be responsive to that. And the most responsive organization to that is a multi-functional corps support battalion and corps support group in the battlefield. We are firmly convinced of that and committed to the idea that that's the best way to provide logistical support on the battlefield.
MAJ HONEC: I agree.
COL BEAUCHAMP: You might want to talk now ... we've covered a lot of areas during the discussions ... we might want to talk now a bit about the offensive phase of the battle, about the time ... I guess about the 24th of February when we began to move into Iraq.
MAJ HONEC: Yes. A hundred hours was very short. You were all geared up, ready for perhaps a long engagement. Describe the process as it came about. It was over in a hundred hours. Please describe your operations, what you did and then perhaps some of the adaption you had to do because it was over with as fast as we started it practically.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, we were deployed in Tactical Assembly Area in CAMPBELL with the group; two battalions, the 561st and the 29th-- the 553d corps support battalion, not in the same specific area, a little further east of us supporting the 3d ACR. Just before we crossed the LD,29 on the ground phase, we re-task organized 553d for reasons of geographic proximity, to the 46th Support Group. And that was so there would be a group commander close to that battalion commander. As it turns out later on, that probably was not necessary, but we didn't know that at the time. But we were at Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL and worked very closely with our customers, the artillery, the aviation, with the division, with the engineers, in planning for crossing the LD. I believe the figures are correct--when we crossed the LD, we carried with us about 800 tons of ammunition, about 130,000 gallons of fuel, up two MSRs.
MAJ HONEC: That was TEXAS? Main Supply Route TEXAS, and ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: And NEWMARKET.
MAJ HONEC: And Main Supply Route NEWMARKET.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. NEWMARKET was the 101st Airborne Division MSR. But I had elements moving on two axes, and we again intended to employ the leap-frogging idea that I talked to you about before, where I had one task force, the 29th Support Battalion, the log task force moving forward with the combat units. They crossed the LD I guess at something like G-Day, G+1 with the artillery and the engineers, fuel and ammunition and food, transportation--
provided transportation capability to those units. And fuel up NEWMARKET to the division as they established FOB COBRA, moved up two axes. And the plan was to move the 29th into location, set up a sustainment operation there.
And then the next phase of the operation would have been to bring the 561st log task force (corps support battalion) through the 29th to a point further north. And then once they set up a sustaining operation, we would then move the 29th in and I would have a sustaining operation that consisted of both task forces, and move the group coincident to that. And it turned out because of the brevity of the operation, we ended up modifying that plan as we got into it.
We moved initially into Log Base OSCAR with the 29th--that was our plan. And we stayed there a very short time. We assessed the situation on the first day then we moved into Log Base ROMEO and set up an operation there with the 46th Corps Support Group. As a matter of fact, we were in reasonably close proximity there. And as it turned out we decided not to move the next task force up from TAA CAMPBELL. We did move elements of that task force up shortly afterward. We never moved the task force headquarters. The battalion headquarters we didn't move up, and part of the group headquarters also remained at TAA CAMPBELL because of the brief period in which the whole operation took place. But we were prepared to do that and then prepared to move all the way up the Euphrates River Valley. In fact we did support as far north as the Euphrates River some of the divisional elements that were up there ... provided transportation support, fuel and ammunition, food and water and that sort of thing.
MAJ HONEC: Would you identify some of the units that were up in that particular area, just to give credit, you know, at the time.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Sure. The unit that moved across the first day was the 29th Corps Support Battalion, Trans[portation]. They had elements of the 541st POL Company30 with them, a unit ... we had to re-task organize.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: They had elements of the 584th Maintenance Company with them. The 2120th Supply and Service Company, a Reserve Component unit from Fort Sill. Elements I believe of the 102d [Quartermaster Company]--they were in the RRP. The 548th Maintenance Company, I think I mentioned that unit as well. The 276th Maintenance Company also moved up later on. So it was a ... . The 494th Transportation Company. The 594th Transportation Company. We had elements of the 372d Transportation Company--the terminal transfer company--forward also. We had just about all the elements of the group forward ... moving forward. Some of the field service units did not move forward as field service elements but they went forward to assist in patient decontamination and chemical decontamination to support that operation. So we had major elements, and of course most of the group staff--headquarters staff--deployed forward. So we had major elements of the group deployed into Iraq starting about G+1 time frame.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Did you take your Japanese vehicles with you into deployment?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Into Iraq? No we did not. I only took ...
MAJ HONEC: They were all tactical vehicles?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We took all tactical vehicles. We had only, I believe I am correct, we had only one vehicle for the civil affairs team that came to us.
MAJ HONEC: Was that mainly because of the gasoline availability or was it just a thought on your part to limit --
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, I felt ... I decided not to deploy those Japanese vehicles. Perhaps if we had stayed longer, we might have done so. But there was a problem with maintenance; trafficability. We weren't sure what kind of terrain we were going to get involved in.
MAJ HONEC: Oh, okay. Good point.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Identification of those vehicles by friendly forces and ...
MAJ HONEC: Did you put the standard fratricide panels on those and the inverted Vs31 ... ?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Everything that deployed had panels and V's. That's right.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: But I think the civil affairs team that was with us (a Reserve element, as a matter of fact) they had a commercial vehicle. There might have been one more in the group, again with host nation support. But that's the only area that I'm permitted those commercial vehicles to go across the field ...
MAJ HONEC: Perhaps a little later on we can talk about the availability of those vehicles aided you in command and control.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Absolutely indispensable; absolutely indispensable.
MAJ HONEC: Let's talk about it now. Offhand, just ... how many Japanese vehicles or rental vehicles did you augment your operation with?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We must have had about fifteen.
MAJ HONEC: About fifteen. Were they trucks or sedans, like the 2x2s and Mitsubishis.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Two by fours and four by fours. The Mitsubishis and maybe a couple Toyotas. Absolutely critical to our operation for command and control because initially ... we didn't have all of our equipment early on. But they were a great augmentation to the commanders and they moved quickly, until ... in the defensive phase especially while we were in Saudi Arabia. They were really critical to our operations.
MAJ HONEC: How did you keep them maintenanced?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, the contract, the host nation's support.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Did some maintenance ourselves.
MAJ HONEC: Did you use some of the resources in Rafha? Some of the places?
COL BEAUCHAMP: There were as a matter of fact. We used some of the services in Rafha.
MAJ HONEC: And of course it would have been Dhahran who'd had ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: We had a lot of capability there for the Mitsubishis and the Toyota vehicles we had.
MAJ HONEC: Did you use cellular telephones?
COL BEAUCHAMP: I had two cellular telephones. It absolutely gave us a dimension of capability that was just outstanding. I had one in my vehicle, and it was super, super critical because at GUARDIAN CITY, we didn't have any commercial telephones initially when we got there. We were able to get commercial telephones a little later on into the tac[tical telephone] system. But we didn't have any commercial telephones at all on the deployment into GUARDIAN CITY except for the ones which were in my vehicle and in one other vehicles that had a commercial telephone. And we were able to use that all the way until we deployed to Rafha. There was no commercial telephone node in Rafha so our commercial telephone was not useful to us up there. Which ironically is probably the only city in Saudi Arabia that is not accessible by cellular telephone. But at Hafar al Batin and KKMC there were commercial--there was a node which you could access. But cellular telephones on our vehicles were absolutely critical.
I'll tell you another ... we were talking about communications earlier. That's always, always a key component of what we do for command and control. The logistics units traditionally do not have enough communications capability, and that's a problem the Army has to come to grips with ...
MAJ HONEC: Yes. [LAUGHTER]
COL BEAUCHAMP: We have to have a dedicated, in my view, a dedicated battalion supporting the COSCOM, providing not only communications but also the ability to move large volumes of logistics information quickly through the system. I had working with me probably four or five different signal elements. I got a signal cell with me when we deployed, during the course of this deployment. Each time we had to get reacquainted with the people and they had to get reacquainted with us. They all did a great job. I'm certainly not being critical of that. But it would certainly be comforting and helpful to know who's going to be supporting me so we can establish those long-term relationships. They get to know our organization, what we need, and that sort of thing. We received after we got to Saudi Arabia from here, as a matter of fact--they were shipped from here--MSRTs, what was described earlier, telephones, which were absolutely, absolutely indispensable. Of course you had to be affiliated with a node much like the civilian cellular telephones, but a tremendous, tremendous capability. I think I received seven of those.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, I was going to ask you ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: With the group and with the battalions.
MAJ HONEC: But you need much more of those?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Absolutely.
MAJ HONEC: They are not that expensive.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Not comparatively, no. I don't think so.
MAJ HONEC: Compared to normal Army radios is what I'm gauging this on.
COL BEAUCHAMP: They were very critical. If you are close enough to affiliate with a remote area unit or a SIN, that's another node you can attach into which gives you much broader coverage, if you are close enough to tap into one of those, you can call anywhere in the country. It's like a commercial telephone. When you are not within range, of course, you have point-to-point communications between those which is about fifteen kilometers, which is about as good as a FM32 radio as a matter of fact. So tremendous capability in what we do.
MAJ HONEC: How about satellite communications and fax (facsimile transfers)? Obviously you used faxes a lot.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We had fax operations set up. In fact, we didn't have any satellite communications. COSCOM had some but we didn't have it in the group. We did have data fax that we set up. And it served us very well, indeed. We were unable to do it in all locations.
MAJ HONEC: How far did you deploy your faxes? Because a fax for other units was a boon, especially for maintenance and for supply and service support units, the fax was indispensable in trying to get the word out, in trying to get orders from point A to point B.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We didn't have any fax beyond An Nu'ariya and BASTOGNE. I think we had fax capability there. We did not have a fax a Rafha, as I recall. But it served us very well, especially at GUARDIAN CITY. We were also able to set up a data link between ourselves and some of the other units and were able to provide data transfer.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Well, we talked about the Japanese cars which got us into talking about radios again, as communications is a very important issue here. In Iraq, how long were your units there? When did they start to come back and when you pulled back, what issues did you face? Obviously a lot of supplies that were not expended to deal with, but also ... .
COL BEAUCHAMP: Ammunition mostly. Everything else that we had we used. Fuel and water and food, that was basically consumed before we left. Ammunition was the big issue. But we deployed it to Rafha. I think we had units that began to deploy as I recall on G-Day as a matter of fact, with the combat elements. And we stayed until ... LTC Runyon, as a matter of fact, my exec[utive] officer, whom you met earlier, was one of the last elements of the group to leave Iraq, and that must have been almost mid-March, I guess. I don't recall the exact date. I'm thinking 12 or 14 March. We were up there three weeks or so I guess, about as long as anybody in the COSCOM was there.
But the major challenge of course was in setting up that base of operations. A very fluid situation which became more fluid as this thing accelerated, as the pace accelerated. It moved a lot quicker than anyone expected it would when we started. We moved a lot of fuel. We moved a lot of water, as a matter of fact. I was supporting then FOB COBRA, which was the 101st Airborne Division's assault base in Iraq. I was moving 25,000, 30,000, 35,000 gallons of fuel a day into that, supporting those. And in the initial phase, two or three days, we had to go back to Saudi Arabia to pick up that fuel. So we were sending convoys with 150,000 gallons of fuel at a time to COBRA.
MAJ HONEC: Did the available hard surface Iraqi roads play a key role?
COL BEAUCHAMP: It made a tremendous difference, that's right.
MAJ HONEC: I know it's an obvious question but I needed to ask you that.
COL BEAUCHAMP: The [M]-915s, our transportation equipment that's designed to operate on hard surface roads basically. We also had the [M]-931s, the tactical vehicles that we used in MSR NEWMARKET, which of course was an unpaved road.
MAJ HONEC: Yes.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We sent equipment up that road on the initial elements crossing the LD with the division elements. Tremendous support by soldiers, especially in the 541st Transportation Company, the fuel-oil transportation company. Tremendous support by those soldiers in keeping this fueled during those critical stages until we established a fuel stock in Log Base ROMEO.
Water--delivering water of course was a key issue at that time, potable water for the soldiers we were supporting. We set up the operation there and eventually moved in our supply and service elements and set up a retail supply operation and some food (Class I) operations. We did some maintenance; not a great deal. Again things stabilized there very quickly and in a relatively short period of time we began moving out. One of the issues we had to deal with again was the host nation support issue.
MAJ HONEC: Oh, really?
COL BEAUCHAMP: A problem once we began to redeploy. Once the situation stabilized, it appeared to be, let's say, Iraqi civilians kind of started to come out of the woodwork. Of course all the infrastructure had been pretty badly damaged. They didn't have fuel and couldn't get fuel. So we ended up dispensing a sizable quantity of fuel, in very small quantities, to Iraqis, you know, so they could support themselves. We were not engaged in large scale delivering food to them, but we did provide them some fuel.
MAJ HONEC: Humanitarian support.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Right, humanitarian support.
MAJ HONEC: But you should get credit for that though.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, it was important, we felt, at the time. We had to deal with the problem one way or the other. And, again, the host nation support people were deeply involved in that and helped set that up, and the logistics guys then ran the system. Sizeable effort involved.
MAJ HONEC: Food and fuel. Did you provide transportation for Iraqi civilians to safe areas?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, we didn't provide any support for Iraqi civilians. We did move a few POWs33 I think.
MAJ HONEC: POWs?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We were not deeply involved in that. In other words, we were very small, as I recall, But a lot of transportation support. We might not have moved any Iraqi POWs. We might have moved them on buses. l don't recall, but I know we provided a lot of transportation support of supplies and materiel and that sort of thing. A big issue, of course, coming out of Iraq was [that] we didn't expend a lot--as much ammunition as we thought--moving that ammunition back now prior to division and back into the supply system, back into Log Base CHARLIE initially, back to KKMC. And the ammunition companies that were with the group were deeply involved in that effort as well.
MAJ HONEC: With as many miles as you've traveled, what was your safety record like?
COL BEAUCHAMP: It was excellent, as a matter of fact. We lost three soldiers, all from the 553d Corps Support Battalion, due to traffic accidents in which the third country national was found to be involved. I lost one soldier in November and a truck ran into one of my deuce-and-a-halfs34 from that battalion and killed a soldier. We had another accident in late March, I guess, at GUARDIAN CITY where, again, a truck driven by a third country national ran into a CUCV.35 There was only one incident involved in which a soldier was at fault, in one of the Reserve units, in which a local national was killed. There were some accidents--we were very fortunate--a limited number of serious accidents. We didn't lost much equipment.
MAJ HONEC: But this was over millions of miles traveled? Six million miles traveled?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right, a whole 6 million miles.
MAJ HONEC: That's quite an impressive record.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes.
MAJ HONEC: It shows discipline on the part of the individuals.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Of the soldiers, that's right. It was due to the safety consciousness and the proficiency of the drivers under some very difficult circumstances, as you know.
MAJ HONEC: How did you train for the Saudi driver?
COL BEAUCHAMP: You couldn't. You just had to be careful, in other words. We just kept talking about that, you know, kept the issue very much alive to drive safely and drive defensively, and be careful. We tried to have a system where the soldiers got enough sleep. And that was always very difficult, especially when we began deploying the entire corps.
MAJ HONEC: I'm glad you're pointing that out. [LAUGHTER]
COL BEAUCHAMP: Some of the greatest heroes in this whole operation were the truck drivers. There's no question about that. They literally moved this corps. My ... the truck drivers who worked for me--excuse me--the truck drivers who worked for other groups and other elements in the corps, they are the real heroes in this whole operation. They did a tremendous, tremendous job of moving enormous tonnages of supplies and people very long distances and did so very safely under very, very hazardous conditions.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Coming out of Iraq in retrograde operations, how long were you at GUARDIAN CITY when you came back? Well, where did you go from Iraq? From Iraq, you all came back into the assembly area?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Back in the Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL, that's right. We were there for a few days and then we began deploying back to GUARDIAN CITY. At one time we were ... I had people at GUARDIAN CITY and Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL and in Iraq. So we were spread over about it must have been over 600, almost 700 miles from point to point.
MAJ HONEC: That must have been a hell of a command and control issue?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That was a character-building experience, that's right. [LAUGHTER] And again it's the structure of this corps support group that enabled us to do that. We could not have done that under any other circumstances. We didn't have the depth and capability to make that function.
The way it worked, I had my S-3 move back to GUARDIAN CITY, set that operation up, and began functioning there. I had my executive officer coordinating operations with the group in Tactical Assembly Area CAMPBELL, and I had my support operations officer in Iraq coordinating those operations. And I was between those three locations all the time. So [we were] spread out over tremendous distances trying to coordinate the activities of the entire group, trying to prepare for the redeployment back to GUARDIAN CITY and making initial preparations for redeployment out of the country.
My staff worked very hard, did a tremendous job. But it's the structure of this group--this group organization that gave us the flexibility to do that. It gave us the depth and skills to do that and gave us the grade structure to be able to do that. And it functioned very effectively. A very impressive operation on the part of the officers, NCOs, and soldiers concerned. We just couldn't have done that I think in under an inordinate time. We didn't have the capability to stretch that far, to stretch that over those distances.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Then how long did it take for the corps support group to come back to CONUS? You obviously had to continue support and also do retrograde. Obviously you had to have troops prepared to go out on commercial airline and also pack the ships.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right.
MAJ HONEC: Talk about the issues you faced trying to get the ships--the vehicles prepared for the ships.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We were supporting of course in the tactical assembly area right up to the moment we deployed out of the tactical assembly area. We never stopped supporting and said, okay now we've got to deploy. We supported right up to the point where we began to deploy, set up showers and laundry, up to the very last minute. We deployed back to GUARDIAN CITY. Once again set up a shower and laundry operation there. The maintenance operations we had. Transportation was a major factor in that.
MAJ HONEC: And where was your area of support? The population you supported--the 101st?
COL BEAUCHAMP: We supported the but we had people that we supported at King Fahd. And of course all of GUARDIAN CITY.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: On an area basis anybody who came through we were supporting. Things were beginning to telescope and collapse very quickly at that point as units began started flowing out. We were at GUARDIAN CITY ... we had a population at GUARDIAN CITY at one time of something like over 7,000 soldiers. I think it was 7,000 soldiers, a big operation. We had engineers there, a lot of medical units there, transportation units, maintenance units there, the TCC--Transportation and Control Center--this other leg of that thing set up there which we ran. It was a major undertaking just to run the facility operation with that many people, coordination with all the commanders plus communications on the post. When we got to GUARDIAN CITY, we began immediately to prepare for own deployment back to the United States. I talked before about that ... our vehicle wash operation.
MAJ HONEC: Yes. Did you have any problems cleaning the vehicles or getting them inspected ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: They were very high and exacting standards. The soldiers understood what had to be done and they ...
MAJ HONEC: No significant problems?
COL BEAUCHAMP: No, no problems. A lot of hard work, I will say. There was a lot of hard work involved, a lot of dedicated effort on the part of soldiers again, long hours. But we were fortunate we had an abundant supply of water on the installation there. We had good proximity to the ports and the airfield. And I think I can say ... I don't want to pass over that too lightly because it took a tremendous amount work and effort on the part of solders to make this work. But we didn't have any significant problems with cleanliness of our equipment and getting it into the sterile areas and eventually back into the United States. We've just starting receiving our equipment from the port here in the last week or so.
MAJ HONEC: I see.
COL BEAUCHAMP: It's starting to come in in large volumes.
MAJ HONEC: This is the 5th of June and it's still just coming back.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We're just now starting to get equipment in volumes for the 101st Support Group. And the last ship I think is scheduled to come in around the middle of June, the 20th of June. So it'll be the end of the month before we get everything back physically on Fort Campbell--all the equipment. And of course we have an extensive recovery program now to go through. Some of this is tiring and has to be worked over and made a healthy again in preparation for the next deployment.
MAJ HONEC: That's going to be a strain on the installation rework facility and the depot maintenance facility.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. The maintenance facility. Of course the division is back and there are some high-priority missions that they have to be very sensitive to early on. We're subordinate.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, subordinate. And also it's going to be pretty tough.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right in terms of we have to look at the relative priorities of units at Fort Campbell, who may go first, and have to work that into the process. It's going to require a lot of coordination and cooperation among the group, the installation infrastructure that supports the division, to get everybody up to speed as quickly as we can because we can't say, well, you guys go away and come back next year, you know, because we have also missions and deployability is also an issue for the group. The division in many cases is dependent upon us to support them when they deploy. I've got to make my units healthy for readiness purposes. So it's going to take a major effort to do that and require a lot of close coordination to make that work effectively.
MAJ HONEC: Before we leave retrograde, I think there's ... let's see ... well, is there anything else we haven't covered? The support from the host nation, helping you do that ... as I understand it you were pretty well self-sufficient in getting ready to come back to CONUS.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. There were no host nation issues that we were involved in at that time. We did leave about 115 soldiers back at the port support activity, our contribution to the COSCOM effort in that regard. About 35 supercargoes coming back with the equipment.
MAJ HONEC: What units are they with?
COL BEAUCHAMP: All units across the whole support group. Again, the port support activity, the 115 soldiers who stayed were from all the units in the group. Everybody made a contribution to that effort.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We were fortunate we didn't have any more than that stay back. At one time we were designated or had prepared to leave up to twenty percent of our people because we didn't know what the deployment schedule was going to be, how long we'd have to do that. So we had a contingency plan which called for leaving up to twenty percent of the group back ... plenty of equipment to move into the port area. Fortunately we were able to get it all cleaned before the main body departed. So the port support activity was involved in loading it after the main body had ... main body departed. The port support activity of course will be deployed once the final ... once the last ship is loaded. And the supercargoes ... those persons who actually ride the ship back with our equipment are deploying now with this equipment and it's coming back into Jacksonville. I have a very small detachment down at Jacksonville working with people at the port support activity there and the port commander to get our equipment in.
MAJ HONEC: Then your plan will be the reverse of the plan of deployment?
COL BEAUCHAMP: For us it will. In fact all of the division equipment was railed in--it's being railed and some is being brought in by line-haul--by commercial line-haul. But we are not road marching anything back to Jacksonville. It's all coming by rail. All of our equipment went to Jacksonville by rail also on the deployment for the group. The division convoyed and did line-haul. Mine was rail and some line-haul also. Containers were line-hauled.
MAJ HONEC: I think that was important to point out. It's going to be a little bit different. Of course the route that your folks took was commercial airline?
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right.
MAJ HONEC: Various routes back to CONUS from ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. We came back deployed from ...
MAJ HONEC: How did your route go?
COL BEAUCHAMP: From Dhahran back into Fort Campbell.
MAJ HONEC: Straight flight?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Into Fort Campbell, yes.
MAJ HONEC: It was a 747 service?
COL BEAUCHAMP: 747s. L-1011s were refueled. Some stopped in Rome and Gander and wouldn't even deplane in most cases. But commercial contract airline right back into Fort Campbell Army Airfield. Tremendous reception on the part of the post and the families and family support groups again played a major role in the operation.
MAJ HONEC: Talk about that.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, it was a tremendous, tremendous boost for the soldiers who came in to arrive at the airfield and see 500-600 or 1,000 people there with the flags waving and the bands playing. Families were just delighted. I said in remarks when we arrived really what we felt, the joy of being reunited with the families could only be felt; it could not be spoken. You couldn't put it into words. It was a feeling that was overwhelming support for the soldiers, the families--that kind of welcome. And of course it made even better by the fact that we had so very few casualties. But none in the group from Fort Campbell.
MAJ HONEC: That's impressive.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We were very fortunate. Very, very fortunate. The soldiers were good but we were very fortunate that we had not received any. Under slightly altered circumstances we could have taken a lot of casualties based on where we were and what we were doing. But we were fortunate. And that was ... made ... the homecoming was made even better because everybody was able to come home.
MAJ HONEC: As a commander, I imagine it took a lot of ... you know ... you had a great burden. Any loss of one soldier, I imagine would make you feel ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: Exactly. Any time a commander makes a decision that he knows is going to put soldiers in harm's way and put soldiers in danger, you weigh that very carefully. You can't agonize over that, but it's a great burden I think for any commander to have to do that. I won't say it's a burden. It's a great responsibility. You take those decisions very seriously when you start doing that.
I expected it when we deployed to Fort Campbell and the soldiers ... we talked to the soldiers about it very openly. A soldier would say to me, when we were talking, sir, I'm a little bit scared here about this and I was wondering about the war. I said that means you're normal. If you are going to, you ought to be. You ought to be a little nervous about it. We heard talk about a guy who was going to go into combat and he says I'm not afraid. You watch that guy because it's normal to be anxious about that. When you've got a million guys who are maybe trying to kill you, you ought to be real nervous about that. We didn't know what we were getting into. The solders didn't know what we were getting into. Nobody anticipated or predicted a 100-hour war. We expected to take some casualties. We expected to encounter chemical warfare. And we didn't expect it to be over--at least I didn't expect it to be over--in a hundred hours. I didn't think it would last a long time but I didn't think it would be over in 100 hours.
But I encouraged my soldiers to verbalize their feelings--to talk about that. We're not holding counseling sessions. I'm not talking about that. But you have to be honest and up front I think ... people have to understand that if you are going to war, you have to take that seriously because people may get killed, may get wounded. And soldiers have to know it's okay to be anxious about that. That makes them more confident I think. What I talked to them about in my discussions with them--and I've held hundreds of these discussions--you've got to take that anxiety and channel it into positive ways. Kind of like whistling by the graveyard. You're a little bit anxious about doing that at midnight but the surge of adrenaline that comes from that anxiety makes you run a little faster. You've got to channel that surge of adrenaline. You've got to channel that into positive ways. You've got to be more alert. You've got to be more vigilant. You've got to be more concerned. You've got to be willing to say to your fellow soldiers, don't do that because it's not safe. If you maybe talk to your fellow soldier about his anxiety or her anxiety ... that's what builds cohesion and organization I think. We work through ... kind of work at that. The Chaplains did a tremendous job in being with the soldiers and working with soldiers and providing ministerial support, spiritual support to the soldiers in the group.
It was a total team effort. Everybody contributed, everybody played, and everybody worked very hard to make it a success. In other words, there's no one person or no few people or no two people that make it work. The whole group, the active component, the Reserve Components, the NCOs, and the soldiers and the officers, the staffs and the commanders--it was a total team effort from for the 101st Support Group.
MAJ HONEC: Speaking of soldiers, I think we should get you to comment a little bit about the women in this conflict especially, to highlight their contribution. Can we talk a little about, if you could, how they performed in the desert. Obviously they were going into a country that had special challenges for them that you are aware of. So could you just put in a short discussion on that?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Women soldiers performed superbly. I had them at every level. I had officers. I had NCOs. I had female soldiers in everything we did. I had drivers. I had mechanics. I had supply personnel, administrative personnel. Fit right into the organization, did not miss a bet, did not miss a step. Performed under the same conditions that male soldiers performed under, the same privations, and just performed magnificently across the board. I'm very pleased and very impressed with the performance of the female soldiers. Very, very few discipline problems with the female soldiers. They were conscientious and very dedicated; hardworking.
And we took the view that everybody's a soldier. You take the top layer off, we're all the same--that's soldiers. Hispanics, female soldiers, black soldiers--it was a team. And female soldiers performed I guess in every role in the corps support group that we had soldiers perform. Field services, maintenance, supply, ammunition. I had females in command of I think one, two, three, four--I can think of four units right off the top of my heard in the group that was commanding my soldiers.
Some of the Reserve units were commanded by female soldiers. They did a magnificent job. We had a unit in California, the 2668th Transportation Company. It was a splendid, splendid unit--transportation unit, Reserve unit--commanded by female soldiers. I'd go to war with that unit any time, any place. I had highly motivated soldiers. Good solid command structure. Good solid command relationship between the commander and the first sergeant. Just a magnificent unit in all respects.
So soldiers did a great job. I had staff officers on the group staff and on the battalion staffs--key staff officers--female soldiers and officers did just a tremendous, tremendous job for us. NCOs did a tremendous job across the board in supporting soldiers on the battlefield. Very impressive performance.
MAJ HONEC: An extra question. It was not on our list but I felt it was appropriate at this time. Okay, let's go into the next set there. What subject areas to you think that CMH, the Center of Military History should concentrate on? Logistics? Obviously the success of the composite corps support group?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Absolutely. Multifunctional. We have to thoroughly document what we are doing there. And I would tell you it's not the universal opinion across the Army that multifunctional corps support elements are the way to go. It's a very strongly held view of my own because as I said before, war is a multifunctional operation. So the units that support those elements have to be multifunctional also because of the pace and volume and velocity of support required on the battlefield. I think we need to document that. I think that one thing we have to deal more effectively I think with the integration of the strategic logistic system, with the theater logistic system, with the corps logistic system, with the retail operations at a unit level.
MAJ HONEC: This is a good example here.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's a big piece of the pie, yes, to try to cut off and deal with. But we've got to document that and we've got to train both our Reserve Component units who run the MMCs in some cases and the TAMMCs36 and the MCCs.37 We've got to train those units. And our active Army units as well. And how those strategic logistical units have to fit together to support soldiers on the battlefield, to understand how the time lines and the urgencies are associated with that process. It's a very complex, complex business.
We have to look at our materiel management centers, our movement control centers in the corps, document those. And we've got to find ways to train those elements in the kind of conditions that we will encounter on the battlefield. We've got to put people in those key positions and those division chiefs and those commodity managers who really, truly understand the functions that they are manage. Because they have a pervasive impact on the whole corps. If you've got for example--as an example, and I am not referring to any specific case in Saudi Arabia--but if you've got, for example, in the corps materiel management center, let's say, a tank-automotive division chief and we're classifying stuff.
MAJ HONEC: Uh-huh.
COL BEAUCHAMP: And that guy has responsibility for managing the Class IX function in the whole corps--the requisitions and the repair parts and the information, the status and all that business for the whole corps, flows through that manager. He has responsibility for Class IX. It has a pervasive impact on the whole corps' operation.
So we've got to put people in those positions, in those functional centers--in the material management centers and movement control centers--who really understand their business and understand the impact in the relationship between the corps materiel management center and the Jones Support Supply Base in the corps, and how that fits into the retail operation of the corps. A critical relationship. And we've got to delve into those logistically and gear our training programs for captains and majors and our logisticians to be able to deal with those kinds of situations.
We also have to recognize, I think, in the Army and deal with the fact that you can't sustain ALO-1 consumers with ALO-3 or ALO-4 providers over the long term. You can't put a maneuver element out and put them at 110 percent strength, and tell the unit that's a 70 percent strength to support those units indefinitely. Because if you start with an ALO-3 unit--logistics unit--by the time you take out the security and sick call and other things, you may end up with a unit that's not operating at 70 percent strength or 75 percent strength.
MAJ HONEC: Good point.
COL BEAUCHAMP: He may be at 50 percent strength when you get to the hands-on. Fifty percent in severe and very complex functions where there's not a lot of interchangeability in the units. You can't take a fuel handler and say, okay, today you are going to be a mechanic. There's a lot of diversity in those units.
MAJ HONEC: I understand.
COL BEAUCHAMP: The Army has to come to grips with that. We've got to decide what we need in the structure and we've got to resource it. We can't do it cheaply because if you do it cheaply, then you are going to be spending a lot more money and time and effort in the long run. Because--and a lot more lives in the long run as well--because of this unique and special and very close relationship that exists now between consumers and providers in this structure.
Harking back once again to the teeth, the muscle and the sinew. If you've got good solid teeth but no muscle, then you can't be effective. If you've got good muscles and no sinew, you can't be effective. If you've got good muscles and sinew and no teeth, you can't be effective. So there has to be a very carefully balanced appraisal of the whole structure in order to give us the combat capability and give us sustaining capability to fight, not 'til we win the battle, but to win the war. That's the point that I'm trying to make.
You can't support ALO-1 consumers with ALO-3 providers for an indefinite period. And that was a problem for us in Saudi Arabia. We didn't begin until very late in the process--begin the authority to upgrade our authorized level of organization to ALO-1 or ALO-2. As it turned out in the group, we never got over about 84 percent, 85 percent strength in the group, the whole period ... when we began to redeploy back to the United States. And the units I was supporting were operating at 100 percent-plus strength--105 to 110 percent, 115 percent in some cases--in some areas. Obviously a tremendous strain on the system because all those guys have to eat. All those guys need clothes and all those guys need food, showers. They need fuel. They need ammunition. They need transportation support. They need maintenance support. They need medical support.
So the Army has to come to grips with that. We have to have a balanced appraisal of what has to be done. And I'm not talking about gold plating any part of the system. I'm not talking about gold-plating logistics. I'm talking about developing a structure that can support for the long term to make us effective in the long term on a continuing basis on the battlefield. We didn't have that in this and that's a source of great concern to me as a logistician.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. In the two volumes that probably will be written there, do you have any input to the historians that will be ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, of course there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this deployment; a lot of lessons have been reinforced. Some of the lessons from Vietnam perhaps we didn't learn as well as we should. In Saudi we had good plans in place that didn't come to ... operationalized as effectively as perhaps they could. Again, I go back to the distribution system. We have a DSS-ALOC system which is a superb system--not a perfect system but a superb system--but it requires an understanding of the system to make it function. An understanding at every level. And it requires every element involved to do the things they need to do--the depot needs to be doing its thing correctly and the Air Force needs to be doing their thing correctly, and the pier needs to be doing his thing correctly and the corps needs to be doing his things correctly.
MAJ HONEC: Any interface issues which you are aware of ... problems that were directly ... that are systematic? Not only DESERT STORM [but] DESERT SHIELD?
COL BEAUCHAMP: The problem ... I did not visibility above the corps level. I was focused primarily on trying to support my own operations. So I can't speak with great authority on the intimate nature of the problems that existed at the wholesale system or at the theater level. But I can tell you that there were problems. I understand how those systems are supported to work. And I understand what the result of that system is supposed to be. And I can tell you from the operational end, as a receiver of those services, it didn't function the way it was supposed to. And that's the perspective I have which leads me to conclude there were some problems there.
[END OF SIDE 2, TAPE One]
MAJ HONEC: This is Tape Two of the interview with COL Beauchamp of the 101st CSG here at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Again, starting with the question about the systemic problems from your viewpoint of the logistics systems, sir?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, as I saying, the perspective I have on the problems that I discussed were from the group level. You know, I can't speak in great detail on the problems that they had at theater level and at the strategic level. I understand the enormous complexity of that process, but I understand also the systems that are in place in the Army doctrinally to service soldiers in a deployed theater and in a deployed corps. I can say that based on my understanding of what those systems are supposed to do, there was a problem because I did not receive the support which I thought we should have gotten at the corps. So my focus is primarily on the corps, and I'm concerned about that.
You know, we have to put in place system that enables us to move materiel to the soldier in the battlefield very quickly. The repair parts and the medical materiel, the food--all of that sort of stuff--and do so on a routinized basis. We can't jump-start the system every time I need something. I think the spin-off to that have just enormous implications for sustainment. And of course it taxes the local system when you have to go out and buy stuff that ordinarily you would get through the supply system. And that's a source we used very frequently and to good effect in Saudi Arabia. Because we could do that.
MAJ HONEC: Well, it was an established country. I mean, it had established supplies.
COL BEAUCHAMP: An infrastructure.
MAJ HONEC: Yes. Infrastructure. Except places like Honduras ...
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right.
MAJ HONEC: Or other developing countries.
COL BEAUCHAMP: That's right. You can't do it. It would be impossible to do that. It has enormous implications for deployment to those kind of countries where we may have to deploy forces--maybe not in corps strength but maybe in battalion strength or brigade strength, or whatever the case may be. But enormous implications for our support in that regard. We can't carry enough to sustain ourselves for a long period of time. The Army has not structured us to do that. The Army has structured us based on the delivery of materiel to the soldier in the battlefield in a relatively short period of time. So that system has to function for us. It has to work.
It requires a lot of interaction and a lot of integration of capability between the Air Force and the Navy and the Army. In between the theater logistic systems and the corps logistic system. And we've got to work that hard. The DSS ALOC system specifically that I made reference to. I think everybody has to understand how critical that is, and everybody has to understand how it's supposed to work, and everybody has to work hard to make it work the way it's supposed to function. It's a very complex system. I'm not saying it's simple. But the matter of getting status back to me, for example, when I requisition something from the wholesale system is very important. How I reconcile what I have open.
And here again it comes into play ... the critical importance of the functional centers in the COSCOM and the materiel management center, which is really the conduit through which all of my communications right now, under the current system, has to go back to the wholesale system. They tell me what I have requisitioned, whether it is good. It gets through the wholesale system. They tell me what the status is. They send me my status when it's been shipped ... vital links in my operations on a day-to-day basis.
MAJ HONEC: Sure.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Of course, in the breakdown of the systems you begin to see things like scrounging, where you're placing tremendous demands on the systems but those demands aren't being recorded. Our whole logistics system is based on establishing a record of what's been demanded so you'll know what to buy in the future. From the organizational level right on up to the wholesale level.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: So when you start going outside that system to buy things and you don't record those demands, it has enormous implications throughout the system and for long-term sustainment in the field.
Theft, for example. One of the saddest things of this deployment in my view was that if you ... if you had a vehicle break down. And it happened to us. It happened to other units. You had to leave a breakdown and you had to park it beside the road. If you didn't leave a guard with it, you could come back two hours later and find it stripped from bumper to bumper. And it was not local nationals that was doing that. It was soldiers doing that. And soldiers doing that because they couldn't get what they needed through the supply system or they didn't have the confidence they could get it through the supply system. And the confidence that will support you is as important in my view as the support itself. If you have a soldier who is not confident, for example, that he can get medical support in case he gets he gets wounded in battle, then he is going to be a little more reticent about going into battle. Perhaps. He's going to be little more anxious about that prospect. If you have a soldier who is not sure he can get repair parts when his vehicle brakes, he's going to resort to other means to get the repair parts. He'll steal.
MAJ HONEC: Good point.
COL BEAUCHAMP: I think those were really unfortunate spin-offs of this sub-optimized effectiveness of our distribution system in the early stages of this conflict. Again, I know we did all this very quickly. We introduced a lot of forces into the theater. We should not rationalize away the problems we had in that aspect.
I think one of the things we've got to do as an institution, as an Army, is look objectively at this whole operation. The American soldier performed just magnificently in this whole operation. I have nothing but the highest of accolades for all the soldiers. Not just the logistic soldiers. The combat soldiers were under great deprivations in this conflict. It was not easy at all. It was not an easy matter to deploy and live in the desert for three or four months and do the things that all the soldiers had to do. We had great support from the American people and we achieved of course a great victory in this case. And for that, we are all grateful. With very, very small casualties.
However, having said that, we've got now to look objectively at the things that didn't work so well for us. We've got to look objectively at what we need to do better. We've got to look at all our systems. We've got to look at the structure of the Army. We've got to look at the size of the Army and where we want to go and what we want to do. We've got to look at technology, and technology served us very well here. And we've got to kind of I think extrapolate beyond 100 hours and say, what if it had been 100 days. Or God forbid, suppose it had been 100 months? Would the systems have worked as well? Could we have sustained ourselves over this period of time? We've got to look at our Reserve Component units. And we've got to make sure that those units that are going to be called up to support contingencies are trained to very high standards. I'm not talking about perfection. We have to do the same thing with active Army. We have to have high standards. We've got to get the most bang for our buck and the money we are spending for--for our defense establishment. If we can't do that, then we don't have a legitimate claim for more money to pay our soldiers and to buy the things we need and to buy the technology.
A lot has been said about technology, and I'm a great believer in technology, what it will do for you on the modern battlefield. But technology doesn't win wars. Soldiers win wars. Because technology that doesn't work is no good to you. Computers will only enable you to screw it up faster and more efficiently if you don't know how to use those computers effectively.
MAJ HONEC: Good point.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Likewise for technology; it's great as long as it works. But the most sophisticated attack helicopter, the most sophisticated weapons system is useless if it can't perform on the battlefield. To perform on the battlefield, it has to be supported and it has to be sustained. And they have voracious appetites for fuel and ammunition and repair parts. And all the logistics systems have to be structured in my view to satisfy those appetites or those systems cannot be optimized on the battlefield. I think that's an important dimension from a logistics officer's perspective on what we have to do.
So I think we have to be honest with ourselves as we go through the system ... and as an Army ... in saying, okay we did some things really good here. Let's not be consumed with our successes. Let's look also at what-might-have-beens, reasonably and rationally. I don't mean as a doomsayers. I'm not suggesting that. But let's look at what might have happened had it gone for six months or twelve months and now assess our systems and see if there is anything we can learn from that. Be objective it, that's what I'm saying. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to those who will follow us, I think, to do that. We owe it to those young soldiers who are going to be field grade officers and group commanders and command sergeants major to do that, because they'll carry the next war. I think opportunities like this to record those thoughts and observations may be helpful in that regard.
MAJ HONEC: I hope they are, sir. Any other particular things that perhaps we can cover as part of the ... any key issues that ... well, I have a question that is kind of out of the realm of what we're talking about, but I noticed that the HMMWV38 that I drove up in was Woodland Camouflage and it had anti-fratricide markings on it. Were all the vehicles in your CSG Woodland?
COL BEAUCHAMP: Yes.
MAJ HONEC: Why?
COL BEAUCHAMP: I had very few vehicles that were tan because we deployed so quickly here we didn't have a chance to repaint them before we left. That's the answer. In fact the HMMWVs in my group were delivered to this group in late September.
MAJ HONEC: I see.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We deployed in October. They were moving to the port at Jacksonville in late September. We received them, and within a matter of a week or ten days, they were on the train going to Jacksonville. So there simply was not time to do that.
MAJ HONEC: I see. We fight the next war based on our last war. Tend to at least, anyway. Do you think will be the case in the future? We'll fight DESERT STORM.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, I hope we learned the lessons from DESERT STORM that need to be learned with respect to how we employ our forces, how we deploy our forces, and how we support our forces. I think, obviously I don't have any crystal ball that is better than anybody else's, but I think it may be a long time before we see the kind of deployment that we've seen in the Middle East. It was most closely akin, I guess, to what we prepared for in Europe for a long time in terms of the forces that were arrayed against us and the numbers of forces--the types and numbers of forces that were arrayed against us. I think probably in the future we'll see deployments. Certainly there are going to be cases where the United States' interests are threatened around the world and we've got to be prepared to respond to those both with combat forces.
And with humanitarian services as well. You know, when you're trying to move 1,000 soldiers someplace around the world to support, the same kind of stresses are placed on the system for deployment whether you are going to Bangladesh to support hurricane victims or you are going to Central America to support a combat operation or a humanitarian service operation. So there are many areas on which I think, of commonality, on the things we have to do to prepare for those. But I don't we'll see a deployment of the United States Army on this scale again for a long time. But we have to prepare for that. I will tell you, the whole business of having an army is to prepare for those things which you don't expect. And the operational plans that we make are good only for the first nanoseconds of the war. Because the only thing we can count on for sure is the plans we are make are not the ones we will execute in all cases, at least when it gets to the operational level. So we have to plan for that, we have to train for that, and that's what we are going to do with this group.
MAJ HONEC: On that last point, though, it seemed like at least on this interview that your plan held up fairly well. So that's something to be said about the preparation ahead of time to produce a plan that didn't need to be changed that much.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Well, what we tried to do, and I think it paid off for us, is we tried to make a plan and then tried to work that plan. We were not inflexible in changing the plan. But we tried first of all to always have a plan so that we knew what we were going to do and then we tried very hard to follow that plan and execute the plan. We had to change things, we had to modify as we went along. We tried to look at our task organization. What is the requirement? What is the capability? What is the structure? The basic issues--we try to always go back to the fundamentals. Requirements, capability and structure--what we need to do there. The five key questions, they call it. Where are we located? Why are we there? How do we support it? How do we get support? How do we displace it? To where, when, and in what sequence. What is the problem, why is it a problem, what must be done about it, who should do it and when should it be done? There is nothing mysterious or certainly intellectual about that, but it provided us a mechanism for communicating across the group, and it was helpful to us. And that is certainly not to say that we didn't have our own problems in our own situations because we're people with people.
MAJ HONEC: Yes, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: We'll get tired. Some people have different experiences than others. Some people have more experience than others. Some people are older than others. Some people are more mature than others. We have the same quotient of qualities and defects that other army organizations do. But I think a key for us was to try to stick to the basics, try to deal with the fundamentals and try to do so with enthusiasm and do so aggressively. And keep in mind at all times the very great importance of the mission that we are performing to support soldiers. All the soldiers in the group. And it's a great compliment to them. All the soldiers in the group. From the privates to the sergeants and the company grade officers and field grade officers, all took very seriously and understood what we were trying to do there. We didn't do it perfectly. Perfectionism was not the objective. Excellence through teamwork was the objective. And we did that pretty well.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, sir. If there is nothing else to add, I'll just conclude this interview and say thank you very much, sir.
COL BEAUCHAMP: Thank you for coming down. I hope I've been helpful.
END OF INTERVIEW
1. Table of Distribution and Allowances, used for temporary, provisional or garrison entities instead of the Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) used for troop program units.
2. Noncommissioned officer.
3. Departure airfield control group.
4. Directorate of Logistics.
5. Jumpmaster inspection.
6. Processing for overseas replacement.
7. Meals, Ready-to-Eat.
8. Unit identification code.
9. In Temporary Duty status.
10. Mission-oriented protective posture.
11. Authorized level of organization. Level 1 is 100% of wartime fill.
12. Property disposal office.
13. Fresh food.
14. Mobile kitchen trailers, used primarily to heat and serve T-Rations, also called T-Packs, which are Class B rations.
15. Called Meals, Organizational, Ready-to-Eat (MOREs).
16. Reverse osmosis water purification units.
17. 35th Signal Brigade.
18. Main Supply Route AUDI was the coastal highway; Main Supply Route DODGE was the Trans-Arabian Pipeline ("Tapline") Road.
19. The composite multi-functional battalion controlled by Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD), 29th Transportation Battalion.
20. A large percentage of 101st and 82d Airborne Division soldiers, as well as most of the personnel required to operate XVIII Airborne Corps Main Command Post in the new Rafha terminal complex were repositioned from their DESERT SHIELD positions to the tactical assembly areas in the west by using intratheater C-130 Hercules transport planes.
21. Authorized stockage lists.
22. Prescribed load lists.
23. Continental United States.
24. Division support command.
25. Corps support command. In this case, the 1st Support Command (Corps).
26. 3d Armored Cavalry, the corps-level regiment from Fort Bliss, Texas. The XVIII Airborne Corps operations plan (OPLAN) DESERT SHIELD I provided for forward defense by the 101st Airborne Division which would exercise operational control over the 3d ACR, the 12th Aviation Brigade, and the bulk of XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery.
27. Military Police.
28. Military intelligence.
29. Line of departure.
30. 541st Transportation Company (Medium Truck Petroleum).
31. Coalition forces adopted a marking system for all vehicles to avoid fratricide that included the use of roof- or hood-mounted orange VS-17 aircraft recognition panels and an inverted "V" painted on the sides of vehicles.
32. Frequency modulated.
33. Prisoners of war.
34. 2.5-ton truck.
35. M-1008-series Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle.
36. Theater Army Materiel Management Centers.
37. Movement Control Centers.
38. M-998-series High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle.