US Army using new prototype modular ramp system, a first in Europe
The United States (US) army is using a rapidly available Interface for trans-loading (RAIL), a new prototype modular ramp system in Grafenwoehr, Germany. This is the first time it is being used in Europe. It will load equipment of more than 5,000 Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 vehicles and equipment pieces onto transport trucks.
This equipment belongs to the 405th Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB), headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany. They are working with the 1st Inland Cargo Transfer Company 39th Transportation Battalion (1st ICTC), which are movement control and transportation experts. The RAIL is being used to accelerate equipment loading for turn-in back to the 405th AFSB’s Army Prepositioned Stock 2 (APS-2) worksite in Mannheim, Germany.
The RAIL is highly versatile, as it is composed of interchangeable components that can be rapidly constructed in various configurations and can be quickly assembled anywhere. It was mainly developed for railhead operations, particularly in areas with limited facilities. It can load up to 170,000 pounds directly to a rail car anywhere along the train It can also be used to load equipment onto heavy transporters and semi-trailer trucks, especially those without their own ramps.
After undergoing testing by the 1st ICTC in May, twelve 1st ICTC soldiers were trained to use the ramp, who in turn trained the rest of the company in Mannheim. The RAIL then arrived in Grafenwoehr behind schedule. The 21st Theatre Sustainment Command has now procured funds for eight additional RAIL systems.
The US Army is mobilising in several locations across Europe including Germany, Denmark and Greece, in response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the threat of further Russian aggression.