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14th HRSC operations in support of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command: while deployed to Kuwait, the 14th Human Resources Sustainment Center embraced human resources core competencies, including manning the force, providing services, coordinating personnel support, and conducting planning.

Human resources sustainment centers (HRSCs) are unique to the Army inventory. With only five units Army wide--three Active and two Reserve component--HRSCs bring specialized skills to the fight. As its name suggests, the HRSC is a key part of the sustainment community. It is regionally oriented, with one per theater sustainment command (TSC). The HRSC focuses on theater-level human resources (HR) operations synchronization, planning, technical guidance, and training in support of a TSC's operational sustainment mission.

According to FM 1-0, Human Resources Support, an HRSC is specifically designed to deploy to a theater of operations and provide HR operational expertise. It is a multifunctional, flexible, and modular Standard Requirement Code 12 staff element made up mostly of senior officers and noncommissioned officers (NC0s).

The HRSC coordinates, integrates, and synchronizes personnel accountability and strength reporting, casualty reporting, Army postal operations, and reception, staging, and onward movement tracking and analysis throughout the theater as prescribed by Army service component command guidelines.

Execution missions include maintaining the Deployed. Theater Accountability System database, theater casualty assistance center operations, and theater postal supply and finance operations. The HRSC conducts its missions without the benefit of downrange command and control; rather, it creates and uses mutually supporting relationships with units and staffs in and out of theater to provide customer service.

The 14th HRSC

Developed as part of the Army's modular transformation, the 14th HRSC is known as the "Desert Phoenix" to symbolize the unit rising from the previous theater-level HR structure. In its new design, this unit provides a greater scope of subject matter expertise, training support, and technical guidance.

The 14th HRSC is authorized 83 personnel and comprises an office of the director and five divisions that are each part of the modular team but with separate, distinct, and unique functions. These five divisions. are Plans and Operations (PLOPS), Personnel Accounting/Personnel Readiness Management/Personnel Information Management (PA/PRM/PIM), Casualty Operations, Postal Operations, and Reception/Staging/Onward Movement (RSO).

Each division is authorized a lieutenant colonel, a senior warrant officer, and a senior NCO, plus a. contingent of other field-grade officers and NCOs specifically aligned with each division's mission focus.

Deployment to Kuwait

In April 2012, the 14th HRSC redeployed from the Third Army/U.S. Army Central (ARCENT) area of operations to its headquarters at Fort Bragg, N.C. While deployed, it was aligned with the lst TS'C's forward command post at Camp Arian, Kuwait, and main command post at Fort Bragg.

In Kuwait, the 14th HRSC offered tailored support to a host of HR elements, ranging from the Third Army/ ARCENT G--1 and military mail terminals, to the theater gateway operation, to casualty liaison teams and human resources operations branches, which support expeditionary sustainment commands and sustainment brigades.

Aside from technical and training support, the 14th HRSC produced many frequent assessments, analyses, reports, and briefings for 1st TSC and ARCENT senior leaders and worked with the U.S. Cental Command (CENTCOM) and Department of the Army (DA) on a daily basis. The 14th HRSCs major support efforts included planning and providing subject matter expertise for Silver Scimitar, the annual FIR culminating training event; tracking the recently completed drawdown of forces from Iraq; coordinating the Afghanistan surge recovery; and scaling HR assets in theater for future deployment rotations as an enduring mission analysis.

Plans and Operations

While deployed, the PLOPS division coordinated current operations requirements, developed FIR training plans, monitored HR force management issues, and managed contingency operation planning.

The division tracked force management across the theater for more than 1,000 HR personnel, spearheaded enduring mission analysis for HR support in Iraq and Afghanistan, and provided subject matter experts in support of Silver Scimitar training and planning.

PLOPS also helped conduct two sustainment command post exercises for ESCs. It was central in developing and synchronizing the HRSC's master scenario event list for Silver Scimitar. PLOPS served as the HRSC's primary planner for force management and provided representatives at sourcing and requirements planning, seminars. PLOPS monitored the pulse of HR operations throughout the theater and was the HRSC's ambassador to supported commanders.


In Kuwait, the PA/PRM/PIM division provided the augmentation package directly linked to the ARCENT G--1. Its primary function was name, unit, and location accountability for Department of Defense forces across the theater as well as for contractors attached to Army units.

This task was accomplished by synchronizing command and HR system databases and facilitating the implementation and oversight of the web-based Deployed Theater Accountability System. The PA/PRM/ PIM division analyzed combat capability and readiness status and leveraged several FIR systems to provide the commander with situational awareness, which in turn supported sustainment preparation of the battlefield.

The PA/PRM/PIM division provided systems training to units in theater, maintained real-time information with which to build detailed plans and analyses, and worked with CENTCOM and DA headquarters levels daily.

The PA/PRM/PIM division tracked and monitored personnel across the ARCENT area of responsibility daily. This accountability encompassed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Department of Defense civilians, and contractors in 20 countries from Egypt to Kazakhstan, including personnel serving on vessels in adjacent territorial waters.

Casualty Operations

The Casualty Operations Division (COD) established and operated the theater casualty assistance center, Which was responsible for receiving and processing all casualty reports. The COD was the casualty and mortuary affairs operations center's single point of contact for casualty reporting in theater, a liaison between the DA level and operational units. The COD was augmented with casualty liaison teams from the Air Force and Army National Guard.

The COD streamlined the reporting process by revising standard operating procedures and providing clear policy guidance to reporting elements in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The COD's strong presence in theater was enhanced by its continual focus on training and support, having provided multiple augmentation and training packages to units across the area of operations. Furthermore, the COD assisted the casualty and mortuary affairs operations center in monitoring formal line-of-duty investigations and reduced the backlog of investigations in theater by 90 percent.

Postal Operations

Essentially functioning as the Army's postmaster, the Postal Operations Division (POD) provided technical guidance and oversight to ensure Army post offices were compliant with applicable policies and regulations. The POD coordinated directly with the Military Postal Service Agency and the Joint Military Postal Agency and ensured Army post offices received staff assistance visits and were within Army and joint standards. In eight months' time, the POD facilitated the opening of three post offices in Afghanistan and was key in overseeing the closure of 13 post offices in Iraq as part of the responsible drawdown of forces.

The POD published a host of standard operating procedures and policies, responded to hundreds of requests for information, and saved the Army more than $50,000 by reducing unauthorized mail. The POD also crafted the annual holiday mail surge plan and coordinated the redistribution of postal equipment from Iraq to units in Afghanistan and the continental United States.

Additionally, the POD coordinated and managed the delivery of more than 70 million pounds of mail. If that amount of mail flowed through a tube one foot in diameter, the pipeline would stretch more than 3,800 miles, from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Anchorage, Alaska.


The RSO division provided technical guidance for and maintained visibility of all personnel transiting the theater through the aerial port of embarkation or aerial port of debarkation (APOD). The RSO division supported planning for deployment and redeployment operations, assessed rest and recuperation operations, and analyzed predicted passenger flow rates for various transit categories to ensure assets were properly resourced and used.

These functions required close and frequent coordination with the PA/PRM/PIM division for accountability with Air Force and continental United States APOD planners, the I st TSC, and personnel assistance teams within theater. The RSO division conducted several site visits to human resources operations brandies and APODs and coordinated for the installation of three new common access card machines.

The RSO division was instrumental in the addition of a second major travel hub in theater and was a significant proponent for the use of available alternate flight options to and from theater, saving the Army hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Like the POD, the RSO division developed a holiday surge plan to accommodate service members during the peak travel period and was a major part of planning the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq. Over the course of eight months, the RSO division coordinated the movement of more than 600,000 deploying, redeploying, temporary duty, and rest and recuperation travelers--roughly equal to relocating the entire city of Boston.

The mission of any HR element is to coordinate timely and effective support to enhance readiness and operational capabilities. The 14th HRSC embraced all HR core competencies: manning the force, providing FIR services, coordinating personnel support, and conducting HR planning.

The 14th HRSC fully demonstrated its capabilities in supporting 1st TSC missions at Camp Arifjan and Fort Bragg. In line with Field Manual 1-0, it contributed to operational effectiveness and helped to sustain optimal readiness. The 14th HRSC's accomplishments can be seen in its accurate accountability, realistic HR training, and the high level of morale among troops in its subordinate units. The 14th HRSC is proof that leadership and doctrine enable prompt personnel actions on the battlefield and in garrison.

By Lt. Col. Keith W. Hunt

Lt. Col. Keith W. Hunt is the chief of the Mission Command Battle Lab Experimentation Branch at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He has a master's degree in education from Louisiana State University--Shreveport.
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Title Annotation:OPERATIONS
Author:Hunt, Keith W.
Publication:Army Sustainment
Date:Mar 1, 2013
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