News: Sustainment and mobility: Afghans train on logistics for continued success
Story by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – As Afghan National Security Forces look to eradicate the Taliban and provide safety and stability for the people of Afghanistan, a key to their continued success hinges on to their ability to order, transport and receive mission-essential equipment and supplies across the country.
That supply process is an ongoing focus for the Afghan National Army’s 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, as they continue to train soldiers on the proper techniques for vehicle maintenance and operation, as well as properly receiving and distributing supplies.
With guidance from International Security Assistance Force personnel and civilian contractors, 2nd Bde. is nearing completion on two separate classes that started Jan. 26, 2014, to achieve the overall mission of maintaining an effective fighting force.
U.S. Army Maj. Bradley Smith, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, who serves as a sustainment advisor to 2nd Bde., 205th Corps, talked about the success he has seen over the past months.
“We’ve seen tremendous amounts of success with them (ANA), and I truly believe they will be ready to handle the challenges they might face,” Smith said.
The transportation course involved many aspects of both operating flatbed trucks, used to transports supplies, as well as maintaining the vehicle’s mission-readiness.
“The class is designed to develop the drivers themselves,” Smith said. “It is to their advantage to take care of the vehicles so they will last longer.”
Ten ANA soldiers were lectured and got hands-on practice with changing tires, monitoring gauges on the vehicle’s control panel, using proper fueling techniques and changing fluids like oil and anti-freeze. They also received proper instruction on driving techniques and connecting, or coupling, trailers to the back of the vehicle.
All of these lessons will help with longer-tenured vehicles, and less money to spend on repairs, Smith said.
“Sometimes vehicle parts are very costly to get and parts aren’t always necessarily available, or will take an enormous amount of time to get,” he said. “It is to their own benefit to keep the vehicles at optimum levels.”
The soldiers also got a lot of time behind the wheel, getting a better feel for driving large vehicles on narrow roads and unloading supplies in tight spaces.
To get the supplies on the back of those trucks, ordering and proper shipping need to happen. This was the focus of the other class over what was a 10-day training course.
This class covered the basics of supply and demand, from receiving orders, to filling them and distributing them to different brigades of the 205th Corps.
At one point in time, the ANA supply system wasn’t as organized as it is today, Smith said.
With help from ISAF over the years, the 205th Corps, as well as the rest of the ANA, now operate at a higher level and can effectively order, receive and distribute supplies across Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Colonel Rafi Allah, the commander of 5th Kandak, 2nd Bde., 205th Corps, credited the ANA’s success to people like Smith, as well as ISAF in general.
“(Smith) has done a great job in helping us get to where we are today,” Allah said. “He is a great man, and has helped us in many areas, and now we have talented soldiers who can do the job on their own and do it well.”
Sergeant Major Mohammad Hossain, sergeant major of 5th Kandak, 2nd Bde., 205th Corps, also credited the help ISAF has given that will help them succeed on their own.
“You all have provided my soldiers with great training, and that is why we continue to have success in 2nd brigade,” Hossain said. “We now have the ability to train our own soldiers and help them more than we ever have before.”
Allah also talked about the importance of having good sustainment, to achieve the overall goal of defeating the Taliban and enemy forces in Afghanistan.
“We stand alone now in this fight against the Taliban and we will stand against them and what they are doing to this country,” Allah said. “This training has allowed us to become a greater fighting force for Afghanistan.”