Without timely resupply, combat forces cannot sustainably fulfil their mission. In other words: If food, fuel and ammunition run short, the force has a problem. That is why the corresponding logistics have to be meticulously exercised. Prior to practical application comes theory: By means of a tactical sand table, the company commander shows the exact sequence of actions to the exercise participants.
The next step is going in the field: Now the eFP Battle Group's service and support company conducts a demonstration during a mock battle in the Gaižiŭnai training area. This illustrates to the soldiers of the multinational formation how a tank unit can be provided with supplies within a very short time – to then rapidly return to battle.
At the first station, the troops on the main battle tanks receive their rations. Bundeswehr/Christian Kuhrt
Good preparation is everything
It's go time: The combat company communicates their requirements for fuel, ammunition and rations to the service and support company via radio message. At the same time, the combat company's material management SNCO reconnoitres an area that was previously selected on the map. He assesses if it is suitable for a field supply point. Together with another soldier, the material management SNCO reconnoitres a piece of forest that is close enough to the action. It is important that the tanks do not have to travel too far.
After the area is assessed as suitable, the soldiers mark down individual parking positions with flags for the various types of supply. The green flag, for example, stands for rations. In the meantime, it is established what amount of supplies each vehicle will receive. Everybody involved in this maintains radio contact at all times. The responsible officer who was the main planner of the exercise explains: "Good preparation is the be-all and end-all in undertakings like this one in order for everything to run smoothly and everybody knowing what they have to do and when."
The team reconnoitres the field supply point and uses flags to marks down the parking positions for the vehicles. Bundeswehr/Bundeswehr/Kurt Basler
Pit-stop in the forest
Now everything happens quickly: The vehicles of the service and supply company are set in motion by the Battle Group and assume their designated positions. In next to no time, the soldiers build a supply route in the forest. Just after they finish, the main battle tanks already come rolling up to the agreed field supply point. The first station is the company sergeant major, the "top sarge", with his truck. He provides rations to the crews.
The next station supplies the vehicles with fuel. The fuel servicing vehicle's crew is already expecting the main battle tanks. To speed up the process, the allocated amounts of fuel and ammunition were chalked up clearly visible on the turrets of the tanks. The fuel truck is equipped with a high-performance pump. It is capable of fuelling two vehicles at the same time with 100 litres per minute each or one vehicle with 200 litres per minute. Then comes the station which issues ammunition. For smaller repairs that can be done on site, there are soldiers of the battle damage repair team waiting at the end of this one-way road.
The portrayed course of action makes it possible to provide vehicles and crews of an entire combat company with all needed supplies in less than an hour so that they are able to continue battle. After the end of the exercise, Major Ernst L. expresses his satisfaction: "For us, today was about demonstrating to our multinational comrades-in-arms the operational doctrines of the Bundeswehr concerning the performance of supply actions. This objective was fully achieved in my opinion."