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    A band of dedicated Airmen mentor Afghan National Army personnel at the Central Maintenance Depot in Kabul.

    Airmen mentor Afghan Depot personnel

    Photo By Senior Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo | Senior Master Sgt. Alfed Marasse, Maj. James Wood, and Staff Sgt. Falsen Cambre...... read more read more

    By Staff Sgt. Carlos Diaz
    U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs

    Kabul, Afghanistan – A band of dedicated Airmen mentor Afghan National Army personnel at the Central Maintenance Depot in Kabul.

    Serving a one-year deployment, the Air Force mentors are embedded training team (ETT) members supporting the Central Maintenance Depot's mission.

    The Central Maintenance Depot is a storage place for the ANA's military supplies and serves as the framework for their sustainment level.

    If a war is being fought while an army is being built, then the depot's continuous construction is paramount to the ANA's ability to provide combat power.

    When the team arrived, the depot's compound was in austere, run-down conditions.

    "This place was in dire need of basic, essential supplies," said Staff Sgt. Falsen Cambre, a weapons ETT mentor. "The buildings had no plumbing, electricity or windows. We began supplying them with the basics needed to accomplish the mission."

    Some of the depot's 140-year-old buildings house large machines that manufacture vehicle and weapon parts.

    "We've given the buildings a 100-year upgrade," said Maj. Jim Wood, a facilities mentor. "We've repaired walls, both structurally and cosmetically, added windows, doors, roofing and electrical capabilities."

    That massive facelift does not go unnoticed.

    "I'm so impressed how the (ETT) always pays attention to cleanliness and order," said ANA Col. Mohammad Usman, deputy commander at the Central Maintenance Depot.

    With time, patience and effort, the mentors have established and fostered a good working relationship with their ANA counterparts.

    "They are very friendly and I've enjoyed our effective relationship," Usman said. "They have increased my leadership experience."

    Helping to lead the way in the safety department, Senior Master Sgt. Bill Cole emphasizes the importance of that practice.

    "Our team often stresses safety," the ETT member said. "Safety is, without a doubt, our No. 1 priority."

    Cole said new safety practices have been implemented. All manufacturing machines are cleaned and maintained to remain in proper working order.

    The team designed a slogan, "People First, Mission Ready" to drive the safety message home.

    A large board was created to display this message and other important themes and proven safety practices.

    The machine shop chief gladly enforces the new safety messages.

    "I'm impressed by this concept," Lt. Col. Mohammad Asif said. "A safe environment will provide the workers with the opportunity to produce good work."

    The depot's compound is overflowing with well-made work.

    "We're making a significant difference here," Wood said. "Several projects have enhanced the depot's ability to perform its important mission."

    After constant use, weapons tend to break down. When that happens, they go to the depot for repair and maintenance. Once repaired, they must be tested for effectiveness.

    This was when Wood and Cambre's ingenuity was called to order.

    After reading through Air Force Instructions, they synchronized their ideas to build a test firing range.

    "This allows them to test the weapons in a safe environment," Cambre said. "This was a great team accomplishment and I'm happy they have a good firing range."

    Whether it's a new firing range, buildings or supplies, the Airmen mentors have left an indelible mark on their ANA brethren's commitment to duty.

    "I serve my country honesty," Usman said. "I like being a part of the order established in our country and military."



    Date Taken: 05.13.2007
    Date Posted: 05.14.2007 11:32
    Story ID: 10344

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