News: ‘Maintainers’ focus on safety as they move equipment through hostile areas
Story by Sgt. Sarah Bailey
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Security Forces are taking ownership of logistics and materials essential to their mission as they take the lead for security operations throughout their country.
In Logar and Wardak provinces, coalition forces support the ANSF by moving heavy equipment from various outposts along Highway 1, one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous highways in eastern Afghanistan.
The transfer of equipment and material from coalition forces to the ANSF is essential for the ANSF to grow and become a self-sustainable force.
U.S. soldiers with Distribution Platoon, Forward Support Company E, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, attached to 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th IBCT, focus on safety as they conduct long missions, that can last 12-15 hours, through hostile areas where the enemies of Afghanistan place roadside bombs.
Before every mission, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brian Farrell, the distribution platoon leader and a native of Telford, Pa., encourages his soldiers to avoid complacency by staying mentality diligent and looking at each mission as if it is the first. “Safety is the longest and most thorough section of the convoy brief,” he said.
Their ability to remain safe while traveling throughout the 4th IBCT, or Task Force Vanguard, area of responsibility on Highway 1 has enhanced their efforts to successfully transfer equipment from multiple combat outposts.
Soldiers of distribution platoon know the importance of their mission and take pride in their unit’s accomplishments.
U.S. Army Spc. Phil Hall, a motor transport operator for distribution platoon, 703rd BSB, credits the platoon’s emphasis on safety for their many successful missions. “Within a very limited time, we have successfully and safely completed several … missions,” said the Miamisburg, Ohio, native.
To date, the platoon safely moved 200 20-foot containers worth of material from various combat outposts in a timely manner.
U.S. Army Capt. Roger Snead, a Tuscaloosa, Ala., native, and the commander of FSC E, 703rd BSB, understands the importance the equipment and materials have in helping the Afghan Forces develop and become self-sufficient. “Because of our speed, velocity, and adaptability we are able to ensure that the transfers to the ANSF were done on schedule.”