☷Zutendaal APS 2 ground support equipment mechanic also 20 year Royal Netherlands Air Force vet
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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Marcel Hamers , a ground support equipment mechanic at Army Field Support Battalion - Benelux’s Zutendaal Army Prepositioned Stocks - 2 worksite , is also a Royal Netherlands Air Force veteran of 20 years . Pictured here , Hamers poses for a photo at the airport in Sarajevo , Bosnia , in 1995 . He also served with a Dutch air defense Patriot missile unit during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991 . ZUTENDAAL , Belgium – The Zutendaal Army Prepositioned Stocks - 2 workforce is a unique combination of Soldiers , Army civilians and Belgium nationals who are essentially U . S . Army direct hire employees on the unit’s table of distribution and allowances , or TDA . In addition , the Zutendaal APS - 2 site , which falls under the command and control of Army Field Support Battalion - Benelux , currently has a 130 - Soldier strong maintenance company deployed from Fort Hood , Texas , working there for the last few months . The Zutendaal APS - 2 workforce is a unique and interesting team accomplishing a critically important mission in support of U . S . Army Europe and Africa , joint forces and NATO with a lot of unique and interesting people – one of which is Marcel Hamers . Hamers , who has been working at the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s APS - 2 worksite in Zutendaal for over three years , is also a Royal Netherlands Air Force veteran . Hamers has a total of about 20 years with her majesty’s air force , both active duty and reserve time . He also worked as an international truck driver for 18 years , much of which while simultaneously serving with the Dutch air force’s reserve security unit . “I started out in the Dutch air force doing exactly what I am doing now at APS - 2 Zutendaal – ground support equipment maintenance , ” said Hamers . “I was working at several Dutch air bases , and then I was assigned to the headquarters in Brunssum , Netherlands . In those days it was called Allied Forces Central Europe . ” Corporal Marcel Hamers of the Royal Netherlands Air Force takes the oath to queen and country following Dutch air force training in 1991 . Hamers , who is a 20 - year veteran of the Dutch air force , is also a ground support equipment mechanic at Army Field Support Battalion - Benelux’s Zutendaal Army Prepositioned Stocks - 2 worksite , 405th Army Field Support Brigade . “During the Gulf War in 1990 - 1991 I was sent to Turkey to the border of Iraq with a Dutch air defense Patriot missile unit , maintaining their generators , ” said the Dutch air force veteran and former corporal first class . “I also deployed and supported NATO’s IFOR peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo , Bosnia , in 1995 and 1996 . " Hamers , a ground support equipment mechanic at the APS - 2 Zutendaal worksite , said his service in the Dutch air force was quite similar to his work at Zutendaal with the U . S . Army , now – especially when he was doing ground support equipment maintenance with the Dutch . “We also had a small team ( in the Dutch air force ) so we had to work well together – just like here at Zutendaal , ” said Hamers , who now lives in Lanaken , Belgium . “We have to look out for each other and help each other . That’s crucial . Otherwise our team cannot complete the missions we’re given to the best of our ability . ” Missions like what Hamers and the entire APS - 2 Zutendaal team competed early this year . The Zutendaal APS - 2 site team prepared several thousand pieces of equipment for an emergency deployment readiness exercise , Hamers said , which ended up becoming part of a larger APS - 2 push package in support of current operations in Europe following Russia’s unwarranted invasion of Ukraine . Marcel Hamers ( eighth from the left ) and his ground support equipment maintenance team at Zutendaal Army Prepositioned Stocks - 2 worksite , pose for a photo in front of a portion of an APS - 2 Multi - Role Bridge Company equipment set at the worksite with the commanding generals of U . S . Army Materiel Command and U . S . Army Sustainment Command as well as the commander of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade . “We also have a floating bridge company , which we completely overhauled and sent to Poland for the DEFENDER - Europe 2022 exercise , ” Hamers added . “And now all that stuff is coming back so we have to get everything back to fully mission capable status and ready to be deployed again . It’s a lot of work . ” Hamers said the ground support equipment maintenance team is very important . If the team is not maintaining the generators , refrigerators , heaters , air conditioners , water purification equipment and more at fully mission capable that can affect the larger overall mission at the highest of levels . The ground support equipment maintenance team maintains everything that is not a truck or a Humvee . The team services all the equipment so that it’s always ready to go – always 100 percent fully mission capable and ready to ship at a moment’s notice , said Hamers . “Everything you might do to your car , service wise – like changing the oil , fluids and lubricants , checking the brakes and tires , and conducting repairs , inspections and preventative maintenance checks – our 12 - person ground support equipment maintenance team plus two team chiefs do for thousands of pieces of ground equipment , ” he said . There’s a lot of pride and respect associated with being a member of the APS - 2 Zutendaal ground support equipment maintenance team , said Hamers , and equally a lot of pride and respect associated with being a veteran of the Royal Netherlands Air Force . “When I show up to King’s Day ( a Dutch holiday marking the birth of the king ) in uniform or in veteran’s dress code , I get a lot of respect from people , ” Hamers said , “and that makes me feel very proud . ” Battalion Benelux is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB . The battalion provides mission command of APS - 2 operations at Eygelshoven and Zutendaal , and is charged with providing and coordinating receipt , transfer , storage and maintenance of APS - 2 . This enables commanders to conduct unified action and perform a full range of military operations in support of U . S . Army Europe and Africa . The Eygelshoven APS - 2 site provides 450 , 000 square feet of climate controlled warehouse space in nine warehouses as well as 50 , 000 square feet of hardstand storage to hold and maintain APS - 2 equipment sets . The Zutendaal APS - 2 site maintains equipment designated for a sustainment brigade and separate reporting units and encompasses 600 , 000 square feet of climate controlled warehouse space in 15 warehouses as well as 40 , 000 square feet of hardstand storage . The 405th AFSB is assigned to U . S . Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command , U . S . Army Europe and Africa . The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern , Germany , and provides materiel enterprise support to U . S . Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition , logistics and technology; and leveraging the U . S . Army Materiel Command materiel enterprise to support joint forces . For more information on the 405th AFSB , visit the official website and the official Facebook site .
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