REF Forward Operations Teams

Getting started

The REF must maintain a clear understanding of the operating environment to successfully provide rapid solutions. Therefore, REF military personnel, subject matter experts and engineers deploy to forward operating centers where they work hand-in-hand with Soldiers on the ground. REF deployed its first forward teams to Afghanistan in November 2002 and, since 2003, REF has consistently maintained a presence there.

REF forward teams execute the following essential duties:
  • Provide Commanders and Soldiers at all levels with the ability to address evolving threats and operational challenges.
  • Conduct unit liaison activities to maintain situational awareness of current plans and operations and serve as a link from the forward deployed commands to the REF team at Fort Belvoir.
  • Execute Expeditionary Lab capability to deliver immediate solutions to Soldier capability gaps.
  • Identify requirements, communicate with stakeholders, and oversee solution delivery.
  • Manage the sustainment of REF systems, including repair parts and Field Service Representatives (FSRs).
  • Act as contracting officers and government oversight for REF projects ensuring adherence to contracting requirements in theater.
  • Conduct supply transactions and property book accountability to keep track of property, documents, and funds.
  • Execute Expeditionary Lab capability to deliver immediate solutions to Soldier capability gaps.

Over the past twelve years, the locations and footprints of REF operating centers have expanded and contracted to meet requirements. At the peak of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, REF deployed forward teams to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. Today, REF maintains a small, forward operations presence in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq.