News: Regional support command teams gather for conference
Story by Capt. Monika Comeaux
By Capt. Monika Comeaux
DCOM-SPO/NTM-A Public Affairs Officer
CAMP EGGERS, Afghanistan – Six regional support command teams came together July 13-14 at Camp Eggers for a conference to cover various topics and get to meet their higher headquarters’ staff sections they work with via email, phone or video teleconferencing on a daily basis.
The deputy command of support operations under NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan organized the commander’s conference, which was the first one since all regional support commands welcomed new commanders.
“The purpose of the conference was to bring the six new commanders and command sergeants major together at the NTM-A headquarters and to provide them with guidance and essential information to accomplish the mission,” said German army Col. Karl Habel, DCOM-SPO chief of staff. “This conference provided a good opportunity to get to know each other.”
The conference covered various elements of the NTM-A mission including updates from the deputy commanding general of operations, deputy commander-Army (coalition section overseeing training and equipment fielding for the Afghan National Army), deputy commander-police (coalition section overseeing the training and equipment fielding for the Afghan National Police), Combined Joint Engineering and reviewed the proposed logistics transition plan for all regional support commands. The schedule also allowed for socializing and for a bit of fun; as part of the closing dinner, commanders and staff got to play the DCOM-SPO version of the old television game show, "The Price is Right."
Lt. Col. Stuart Furner, Regional Support Command-North deputy commanding officer, said that the most useful part of the conference for him was “seeing everybody on the staff, so you know whom you are talking to on the other end of the e-mails.”
Stuart also did a lot of networking and obtaining information about his fellow regional support commands.
“It is important to know that every RSC is unique and everybody have different challenges. It was good to see how everyone else is working through those challenges,” he said.
Sgt. Maj. Mark W. Huston, the RSC-West sergeant major found the J1 (human resources/personnel management) piece the most useful.
“There was a lot of information put out about awards and non-commissioned officer evaluation reports and different processes and as a sergeant major, a lot of that administrative stuff is my responsibility. Now I know who to call, whom to talk to. And we got some good policy guidance on what the general is expecting and that helps a lot,” he said.
Huston also found it very useful to meet the different staff sections but wishes he had more time to take care of business.
“I would like to see a little more time so we can get together as a small group, maybe a little time in the evening, a little more personal time because to be a honest, at these conferences a lot of the stuff that gets done, gets done in the hallway in-between,” Huston said.
The most beneficial part of the conference for the staff was “the commander’s feedback about the reality on the ground and how we can do better to support them in their challenging missions out in the regions,” said Habel.
Habel said he received positive feedback about the conference.
“I think the commanders and command sergeants major appreciated the conference.”
He credited the success of the conference to his staff. Habel hopes to have the next conference sometime in December, once a good part of DCOM-SPO’s new personnel rotated in.
NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan is a coalition of 38 troop-contributing nations charged with assisting the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in generating a capable and sustainable Afghan National Security Force ready to take lead of their country's security by 2014.
For more information about NTM-A, visit www.ntm-a.com.