News: KAF humanitarian relief yard closes, support to Afghan people continues
Story by Sgt. Tanjie Patterson
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan—Over the past four months, 3rd Sustainment Brigade soldiers have been managing the humanitarian relief yard at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. This yard houses commanders’ emergency response items such as food, clothes, tools, hygiene products and temporary shelters, as well as items donated by churches and other stateside organizations to Afghan people in need.
Since assuming KAF’s humanitarian relief operations in December 2012, ‘Task Force Provider’ completed 32 missions—providing a value of approximately $2 million in CERP items to help support more than 35,000 Afghan citizens.
The yard—which was established in 2009 to provide assistance in response to natural disasters and to support the Afghan people during reconstruction efforts—rendered its final humanitarian mission, April 3.
“Humanitarian relief operations will not cease, however,” said Staff Sgt. Tyrone Thorpe, the HR yard manager assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, and Greensboro, N.C., native. “It will continue on another forward operating base here in Afghanistan.”
For their last HR mission at KAF, the soldiers palletized 28 cases of cooking oil, 13 bundles of tarps, 22 bundles of sandbags, five bundles of prayer rugs, 15 bundles of educational kits, 10 bundles of children and women’s clothing, 20 bundles of first aid kits and 20 bundles of dental kits.
While the U.S. soldiers assist with packaging, the Afghan security forces and government officials distribute the CERP items to the Afghan people.
Second Lt. Kenisha Wilkerson, the HR yard officer in charge and member of HHC, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, said it’s important to assist the Afghan government as they provide support to their people.
“Even though we don’t physically hand out the items, I think we have one of the most rewarding jobs,” said Wilkerson, a native of Goose Creek, S.C. “We get to see the product before it goes out, and we get to see the items in the hands of families through pictures that are brought back to us.
“To see the smiles on the faces of those families, especially the children, is a heartwarming and rewarding feeling,” she said.
Sgt. Jacob Todd, an HR yard supervisor assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 1487th Transportation Company, said the efforts Task Force Provider has made while working in the HR yard has helped to support and promote positive changes among the Afghan people.
“We are also helping them to sustain themselves,” added Todd, a native of Dayton, Ohio.
Now that operations at Kandahar Airfield’s humanitarian relief yard are complete, the process has begun to close the facility down. This includes moving all the containers to the central receiving and shipping point, closing out property hand receipts and turning in accountable items, said Wilkerson.
“I feel that we had a huge responsibility and mission here on KAF, and that was to provide humanitarian relief to Afghan families in need,” said Thorpe. “I believe that we completed that task to the best of our abilities, and just knowing that we did something to help better people’s lives will always remain with me.”
Date Posted:04.05.2013 08:59
Location:KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AF
Hometown:DAYTON, OH, US
Hometown:FORT STEWART, GA, US
Hometown:GOOSE CREEK, SC, US
Hometown:GREENSBORO, NC, US
Hometown:PALATKA, FL, US