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The first big step towards achieving commonality and interoperability of expeditionary basing equipment among the joint forces has come a step closer after logistics chiefs gathered to sign the joint expeditionary basing working group (JEBWG) charter.

The lead JEBWG organisations are the air force’s A4/7, the army’s G4, the navy’s N4, the marine corps’ I&L/LP and the joint staff’s J4. The goal of the working group is ‘achieving commonality and interoperability through joint solutions’.

The members of the working group will review the services’ expeditionary basing capability requirements, potential hardware solutions, availability, procurement timelines and current and future acquisition objectives in order to develop common hardware procurement.

US Army chief of staff for logistics Lt Gen. Mitchell Stevenson said that the army was following the theory known as ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’.

“First level of need is physiological needs. In other words, everyone needs food, water, sleep, etc, and the equipment and facilities that accommodate these needs can be standardised across the battlefield,” Stevenson said.

US Air Force deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support Lt. Gen. Loren Reno said that common procurement would streamline processes.

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“Common procurement and utilisation of expeditionary basing equipment decreases the footprint in a deployed environment and places less of a burden on the overall supply chain,” said Reno.

The group’s initial focus areas will be tents and insulation, power generation, environmental conditioning units and lighting systems.

The second phase of focus for the JEBWG will be laundry, kitchens and hygiene systems – shower, shave and latrine. The expeditionary TRICON systems that army engineers have developed, demonstrated and evaluated in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom are being reviewed by the working group as a potential common hardware solution for the focus areas in phase two.