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Army trying new gear for forward bases
The Expeditionary Force Provider Kit provides basic billeting facilities for 585th Engineer Company Soldiers at Forward Operating Base Logar. - photo by Combined Joint Task Force - 82 PAO photo
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOGAR, Afghanistan — The new Expeditionary Force Provider Kit offers soldiers the basic living facilities needed to fully accomplish their missions. The kit has proven to be mission essential in a combat heavy engineer battalion.
The 585th Engineer Company out of Fort Lewis, Wash., is currently living in the first EFPK used in theater operations here.
The company is using the kit while they construct a permanent forward operating base. Everything in the kit is a new design: new tents, new showers and latrine facilities. The kit, which takes four hours to set up, supports about 150 soldiers, to include seven billeting tents, one dining facility tent, one hygiene tent, four washers and dryers, and four seated latrines.
The EFPK’s maneuverability is relatively simple, making it even more appealing to engineer units that move from location to location constructing facilities for military forces.
“The shower units are the best feature of the Force Provider Kit,” said Army Capt. Samuel Escobar, commander of 585th Eng. Co., a native of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. “It has allowed us to setup living areas in a timely manner. The force provider kit also comes with the environmental control unit and power generator units that really save us time from resourcing them separately.”
Bradley James, from Alamogordo, N.M., is a contractor from the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center deployed from Massachusetts to specifically aid the engineers with the initial setup, evaluations and recommendations for improvements of the kit.
According to James, the Army has approved the contract to augment the kit in order to support 550 soldiers — the size of an Army battalion.
“I am happy with the design; but we want to make it even better,” James said. “The purpose is to support soldiers and provide them with the basic living arrangements in their deployed circumstances.”
Sgt. 1st Class Clay Wait from Sioux Falls, S.D., is living in a portable EFPK for the first time.
“The kit is great,” Wait said. “It has minor bugs, such as the air-conditioning units not being appropriate for the tents. However, Mr. James has noted the deficiencies and has taken them to the (U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center). It is a great program for the Army to invest in for our soldiers.”
After the 585th Eng. Co. completes its mission here, the soldiers will take the kit to their new location.

Saenz is a writer for Task Force Pacemaker Public Affairs
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