News: Tower transfer enhances Afghan National Army’s capability
Story by Sgt. Jarred Woods
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – After more than a decade of assistance from U.S. and other coalition forces, the Afghan National Army continues to pursue its eventual self reliance. As Operation Enduring Freedom transitions into its latter phases, the U.S. military continues to train, advise and assist the ANA, enabling a stronger and more confident Afghanistan.
In addition to training and mentoring the ANA, the U.S. has also provided much needed technology and equipment. These efforts have recently culminated in the first ever transfer of a base expeditionary targeting surveillance systems-combined (BETSS-C) tower from the U.S. Army to the ANA on April 12, 2014.
The transfer operation commenced with the tower’s components being air-dropped into location at an ANA base outside of forward operating base Phoenix, Afghanistan. Then the equipment, consisting of the actual tower, power generators and maintenance gear, were laid out to be inspected, inventoried and eventually signed over to the ANA.
“In the name of Allah; we are very happy for the technology that we’ve received from the people that have used it in the past and also, we’re very impressed,” said Col. Walibik, the officer in charge of the ANA’s persistent surveillance systems.
This significant leap forward greatly enhances the ANA’s abilities, giving them an edge against the enemy threat.
“It’s definitely a force multiplier and an enabler for them to provide their own force protection where we won’t always be able to be,” said Terry Dunn, the deputy operations officer for the 3rd Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Brigade, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater). “They can see the attacks before they hit so they can react much faster than they could if they didn’t have this system.”
As for looking forward, the ANA’s hard work toward self-sufficiency has left them leaps and bounds ahead of where they once were.
“Our ANA is strong and we’ll get stronger in the future,” said Walibik. “We’re improving so that in the future, we can defend our land and our country.
The rapport between U.S. forces and the ANA, suggests a strong mutual respect and an affluent partnership.
“The relations among the U.S. and ANA look good and friendly,” said Walibik. “They support us in every feat and they are going to support us in the future.”