LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan– Things break; it’s a fact of life. The trick is not letting it slow you down. Those tricks become especially important when you’re trying to fight a war.
These days, a broken weapon essentially takes a Soldier out of the fight. So for years, Alpha Omega Services has been working closely with the Afghan National Army to show them the techniques they’ll need to prevent broken weapons from slowing their mission. AOS was contracted to fix and teach the Afghan soldiers how to fix weapons systems.
However, with the ANA t now taking the lead in security operations for their own country, Coalition Forces feel that AOS has successfully finished its job.
“That speaks volumes about our confidence. We know [the ANA] now have that capability within their own ranks across the entire Afghan National Army, which is huge,” said Maj. Kyle Brown, 201st ANA Corps Regional Logistics Support Command Advisor with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Patriot.
As the AOS contract ends, the company is emptying its warehouse and donating all of its weapons repair parts and supplies to the ANA. The 201st Corps alone is receiving more than 36,000 parts of more than 800 different items to help sustain their weapon systems in their fight against the enemies of Afghanistan.
Brown says helping facilitate this transfer will be one of the most significant things he’ll do during his time in Afghanistan.
“It means millions of dollars of support to build a capability throughout the Afghan National Army,” added Brown “First what we did is we built their skill sets so that they could actually repair weapons so now they have both the skill set and the parts to be self sustainable and getting them self sustainable is the number one goal of my job,”
The transfer comes at a significant time as the Afghan Army readies itself for arguably its most important undertaking, assisting with security for the 2014 elections.
“Most of the time that I’ve been here, the number one reason why they were unable to fix a weapon was not because they didn’t have the capability or the tools but because they didn’t have the actual parts they needed,” said Brown. “Now that we’ve corrected that one shortfall, there should be an immediate uplift in operational readiness across the entire Afghan National Army.”
Helping facilitate the transfer of ownership for an entire company’s stockpile of parts and supplies is no easy task.
“We did an inventory here to make sure we accounted for everything. All the parts were documented. We just want to make sure that we have accountability of everything,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Reginald Jones, a logistics advisor to the 201st Corps. “It’s a lot of work and yes, it’s definitely worth it.”
After completing the transfer, Alpha Omega Services will conduct one final ten-week weapons repair course for the ANA before fully departing the country.