Although Army Field Support Battalion-Carson (AFSBn-Carson) was only established as a permanent battalion in accordance with Permanent Order 198-01 on Oct. 4, 2009, the predecessors and history can be traced back to the 1940s. In the 1940s, the Army hired technical experts called civilian master mechanics through the Army’s Technical Services with the purpose of conducting hardware and equipment repairs. In the 1950s, the role of the civilian master mechanics expanded to include teaching, advising and supply assistance, much like the logistics assistance representatives (LAR) of today. With this expanded requirement, they were also renamed as mechanical or equipment advisors.
With the activation of Army Materiel Command (AMC) in 1962, the advisors were aligned under the Technical Service Program and organized under customer assistance offices (CAO) headed by colonels located at worldwide locations in most areas of strategic interest. In the 1970s, the roles and missions of the CAO expanded to include supply support, management of modification work orders and select item management. With this expansion, they were also redesignated as logistics assistance offices (LAO).
The Army began aligning LAOs with maneuver divisions in the 1980s to support projected tactical requirements in a large scale ground campaign with the primary role of providing divisional units reach back capability to the Army’s large industrial complex. The term LAO was used to indicate LARs working in a garrison environment while the term logistics support element (LSE) was adopted to denote an LAO deployed with LARS and AMC civilian contractors operating on the battlefield. This structure would remain virtually unchanged over the next decade providing support to the Warfighter.
Following Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the Department of the Army consolidated all Army war reserve stocks, including former theater reserves, into five regional materiel stockpiles; CONUS, Europe, Pacific, Southwest Asia, and Afloat. A new subordinate organization, the Army War Reserve Support Command (later redesignated the Army Field Support Command), was created in October 1996 to command and control all Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS) sets worldwide. The Department of the Army established the Army War Reserve Support Command (AWRSPTCMD) to serve as the Army’s centralized
executing agent for all APS. The command officially stood up on Nov. 25, 1996. The AWRSPTCMD began organizing and implementing the APS mission through its worldwide field organizational network. The AWRSPTCMD transitioned to the Field Support Command (FSC) on March 31, 2000. The U.S. Army Field Support Command (FSC), headquarters located at Rock Island, Illinois, was a one-star command that reported to the commander, Operations Support Command. Within FSC, there were six subordinate organizations: AMC-CONUS, AMC Forward-Europe, AMC Forward-Far East, and AMC Forward-Southwest Asia plus AMC Combat Equipment Group-Europe (AMC CEG-E) and AMC Combat Equipment Group-Afloat (AMC CEG-A), each headed by a command-designated colonel, who reported directly to the commander, Field Support Command.
During Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, FSC continued to mature into its role as the logistics integrator for all theaters. The growth was most obvious in Southwest Asia as the brigades headquartered at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait and Balad, Iraq steadily continued to expand in mission, size, and execution. On Oct. 1, 2004, four AMC forward units were redesignated as Army Field Support Brigades (AFSB); this included AFSB-SWA (now 401st AFSB located in Kuwait), 402nd AFSB currently in transition from Kuwait to Hawaii; 405th AFSB headquartered in Europe, and 403rd AFSB in Korea. In addition, in March 2005, AFSBs CONUS East and CONUS West were formed out of the former AMC-CONUS to provide support to forces stationed in within the U.S. CONUS East (now 406th AFSB) established operations at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, while CONUS West (now 407th AFSB) set up at Fort Hood, Texas.
With the expanding role for FSC, AMC consolidated command and control by assigning the LAOs in CONUS to the AFSB in their respective areas of operation. At the same time FSC units supporting the development and deployment of Stryker units from Fort Lewis transformed into AFSB Stryker, later redesignated AFSB Pacific (now 404th AFSB). Official name changes caught up with rapid transformation in August 2005. By the end of fiscal 2005, AFSC had seven AFSBs providing support to forces in the field. Only AFSB CONUS East and West were completely new – the other five brigades were simply transformations from the AMC Forward or LSE configuration. One of the most significant challenges facing FSC was the maintenance and accountability of left behind equipment (LBE) and force generation requirements to meet demands of the theater combatant commander. To leverage existing CONUS based structures and synchronize other AMC entities in support of the growing LBE and force generation missions, AMC redesignated the LAOs as provisional battalions. On June 7, 2006, the colors of the newly designated battalions were uncased as were the official colors of the redesignated 407th AFSB (formerly AFSB CONUS-West). As the first provisional Army field support battalion activated, the LAO at Fort Carson received the designation 1/407th AFSB and picked up the tag line “Always First.” On Oct. 1, 2006 The U.S. Army Sustainment Command (ASC) activated and the U.S. Army Field Support Command was inactivated. More than a name change; the unit transformed and gained missions to become the CONUS Theater Support Command while also maintaining the seven globally deployed and CONUS based Army Field Support Brigades.
On June 1, 2008, 1/407th AFSB was redesignated as AFSBn-Carson (Provisional). The provisional designation was changed Oct. 4, 2009 with the establishment of the AFSBns as permanent in accordance with permanent order 198-01. AFSBn-Carson’s structure, through fiscal 2012, included brigade logistics support teams (BLST) in direct support to each of the four brigade combat teams (BCTs) of the 4th Infantry Division, a BLST designated for the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Fort Sill, Oklahoma) and the logistics support team (LST), Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Due to logical proximity, on April 1, 2015 LST-Sill was detached from AFSBn-Carson and reassigned under AFSBn-Hood. This move facilitated timely support to the customer base and expedited reporting.
In 2015, the 4th Infantry Division reorganized eliminating its 2nd Brigade, adding a Division Artillery (DIVARTY) and reflagging its 4th Brigade as the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). The 4th Infantry Division (“Iron Horse” Division) is currently comprised of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, (Raiders), the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, (Warhorse), the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) (Iron Brigade), the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) (Iron Eagles), and the 4th Sustainment Brigade (Rough Riders). In support of this reorganization, AFSBn-Carson also reorganized and implemented the area logistics support team (ALST) to support the 4th Sustainment Brigade and the remaining separate battalions on Fort Carson. The AFSBN-Carson acquired the Fort Carson Logistics Readiness Center in 2018, merging the two entities into one.