Brig. Gen. Ronald Ragin is excited about supplies. The things that make him excited include: building up 3,585 items on an Authorized Stockage List, clearing more than 200 pallets that were backlogged, transferring more than 487 Department of Defense Activity Address Codes in about five days, posting Goods Receipts for 3,500 customer items in less than four days, saving more than $200,000 and increasing receiving capacity by 200%.
These are things that the people at the newly-opened Phantom Supply Support Activity have already done. These are the things that made Ragin, a senior logistician and the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command commanding general, excited at the Phantom SSA’s ribbon cutting ceremony held Oct. 15 at the new facility in Building 4911 on Santa Fe Road.
“It’s all in the numbers,” Ragin said while expressing his appreciation during the ceremony. “What I equate that to, you got it done. You got it done in a special way, and we are just getting started.”
The need for the new facility and the contractors who now run it has been around for a long time, and relieves the burden from previously tasked units to focus on their own deployment missions, Ragin said afterward.
“The supply support activity that was supporting the III Corps separates was actually run by a unit SSA, and so with the deployment requirements, that left them short on personnel, and it created a huge backlog in the system,” Ragin explained. “By having a contractor-run SSA, that’s going to increase velocity in the supply system and then unencumber the units from having to do things that are not supporting deployments.”
Most of the III Corps separate brigades on post do not have the assets to run this mission themselves.
“Here on Fort Hood, the corps separates don’t have a supply support activity except for the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, and that’s only designed for the one unit,” Ragin said. “So all the others like the 11th Signal Brigade, the 36th Engineer Brigade, they don’t have an SSA that supports them. So it was necessary for us to put something in place to support the corps separates.”
Money for projects like this can be hard to find, but the Army Materiel Command made this facility happen.
“They have a different type of working capital fund that funds these types of activities, but through the support of Army Materiel Command, and Army Sustainment Command, they were able to find funding within AMC channels,” Ragin explained.
The facility was stood up in a very short period of time thanks to the help of various Fort Hood Garrison directorates and tenant units, according to Ragin.
“It was about a six-month project,” Ragin said. “The 1st Cavalry Division was a great supporter and teammate. They actually provided the space that allowed them to move a lot faster. The 407th AFSB, the 13th ESC, and the III Corps G4 all collaborated, and then they really got it done quickly.”
The work being done at the SSA is vital to the readiness efforts of all units involved.
“We have been in the Army for a while now, and we know that the supply support activity is the heartbeat of the supply system,” Ragin said. “If this place does not function, we don’t get readiness. If this place does not function, we don’t get supply on the far end. If this place does not function at the strategic level, the AMC commander cannot do what he needs to do. So the work that you are doing down here is vitally important to what we need to get done in the army.”
Maj. Gen. Gerald Strickland, III Corps deputy commanding general – support (U.K.), stressed the importance of the new facility during the ceremony.
“These things don’t happen by accident,” Strickland said. “There was an issue. We were not doing what we needed to be doing in terms of supporting our units. And someone had the vision, the vision to create this Phantom SSA as the solution, and we all need to spend our time looking for those solutions.”
“All of you great people here have come in to take on this task, and you have thrown yourselves into it already, and you are making it a success.” Strickland said. “I know that you will continue to make it a success, because you are going to keep that same level of dedication that you have already shown up until this point. So to everyone who got us here, who is carrying the load now, and who is going take that load forward, thank you, well done and keep up the great work.”