News: Afghan National Army holds senior security shura focused on logistics
Story by Capt. Monika Comeaux
KABUL, Afghanistan – Senior military and logistics leaders from the Afghan National Army, with some help from Regional Support Command-Capital and Deputy Command of Support Operations mentors, gathered for a logistics shura Sept. 29 at one of the national-level logistics warehouses known as "Depot 0" in Kabul.
The purpose of the shura was to inform ANA commanders on the capabilities of the national level logistics system and to provide a forum for discussion on national logistics processes and priorities.
Among the invitees were all ANA corps commanders and senior logistics managers as well as the Afghan interior minister and senior leaders from the International Security Assistance Forces headquarters.
“The message we are trying to get across here is all the progress we have made in logistics for the ANA,” said U.S. Navy Capt. William B. Mattimore, logistics command adviser from RSC-Capital. “They have come a long way. This is an opportunity to show the rest of the ANA, the chain of command and the ministers, how far we have come, and how efficient these warehouses are.”
Mattimore sees clear progress in ANA logistics development and thought it was very important to bring Afghan leaders together and organize this senior logistics conference.
“We have been building the ANA, increasing our numbers, it is now time that we focus on quality, not quantity,” said the Assistant Defense Minister for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Lt. Gen. Abdul Hamid Mohebullah through an interpreter during his opening remarks.
“In order to provide security and peace for our people, we have to get the right logistics at the right place, at the right time," he said.
The 203rd Afghan National Army Corps commander Maj. Gen. Mohammed Yaftali provided an update on their maintenance readiness, stating that 80 percent of their Ford Rangers are operational. Several things are going well within his corps, he said; however there is a shortage of some Class II (clothing) items, more specifically boots. They have 21,000 personnel assigned, but only have 3000 boots to issue to his soldiers; therefore, his corps needs more boots.
Other commanders raised the issue of the lack of Tashkil (authorization table for personnel and equipment)-authorized transportation assets, the need for more living areas or containers, or not receiving an annual logistics plan from higher headquarters.
Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Hotak, Army Support Command commander, briefed about the roles and responsibilities of ASC. Some of the subordinate ANA commanders are still not fully aware of this relatively new department in the Ministry of Defense, said Hotak. He further explained about the Regional Logistics Support Commands, which provide support to the ANA corps in their individual areas of operation, however fall under ASC command. Hotak also explained how the RLSCs support the ANA corps focusing on three major areas, which are materiel management, supply distribution and maintenance support.
One of the updates provided during the conference came from the Logistics and Materiel Readiness chief Maj. Gen. Abdullah, who explained in detail about how the MOD14 ordering form process will be expedited and simplified in the near future. The main change being that the form will require the signatures of fewer managers between the unit where the order is placed and the regional or national depots where the order is filled. This topic attracted quite a few questions from the Afghan invitees, and it also attracted the interest of Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Muhammadi, who supported making the process shorter and more effective.
Attendees left the conference with plenty of handout materials and laminated smart cards that contained quick reference charts on logistics processes, to include the simplified MOD14 processing.
Upon completion of the conference, organizers took the participants on a walking tour of one of the national-level warehouses, to show them the Class IX (spare and repair parts) warehouse, explain the shipping process and allow the ANA leaders an opportunity to ask questions. The MOI plans to organize follow on conferences at least once a quarter, as it was stated during the event. Because of the discussions during the conference, Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the chief of staff of the Afghan army called a second session on the following day for all commanders and logistics chiefs (G4s) to further discuss the logistics issues of the ANA.
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.