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    1st TSC manages CTEF to equip, maintain Iraq, Syria

    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – In order to defeat ISIL, the United States government aids in supplying equipment and funding to coalition partners. One of the main proponents of accomplishing this task is the Counter-ISIL Train and Equip Fund (CTEF).
    The 1st Theater Sustainment Command plays a major hand in CTEF and overall, manages a majority of how the Fund is used in Iraq and parts of Syria.
    “1st TSC was tasked to maintain the flow of incoming equipment, munitions, weapons and inventory, manage it and then they are responsible for movement of that equipment to forward destinations in Iraq and divestment to the government of Iraq, and Syria, to a point,” said Col. Mark Stewart, the CTEF Director for 1st TSC.
    The 1st TSC works with every level within their command along with coalition partners, other nation states, numerous Combined Joint Task Forces, Central Command, the Department of State and the U. S. Army Security Assistance Command across the area of responsibility to get the equipment divested to the Iraq Security Forces or Syrian Defense Forces.
    “There are 26 different countries that participate in the CTEF program,” said Maj. John Amabile, the CTEF Deputy Director for 1st TSC. “Some of those countries contribute straight up cash, some of them contribute hardware like AK-47s, and then some provide training and planning support.”
    Amabile said CTEF aids in ensuring that we can get the Iraq Security Forces properly trained and equipped so that they can provide the security for their own country, which puts less Coalition Forces at risk.
    “In the past, some of the problems with defeating ISIS were related to lower training standards than the American Army and one of the complaints was lack of funds,” Amabile said. “Because we are operating by, with, and through the Iraqis, if your partners are not trained and equipped, then ultimately you have to pick up the slack for that.”
    Stewart stated when he took over, the initial thought for CTEF was maintaining the current status at the time, by maintaining the inventory and doing the occasional divestment to Iraq. He has since found that this is not the case and CTEF, as a whole, is evolving with the current status of operations.
    “With the evolution of how this is working, this is a full enterprise program,” Stewart said. “I say program because we are trying to take something that was a congressionally approved fund, make it a program, make a structure out of it and something that our logistical enterprise can work with so that we can get the equipment, munitions, rolling stock, weapons, OCIE; everything else to the Iraqis at a certain time and certain place, with the limited resources we have available now.”
    Some of the challenges the 1st TSC faces daily in managing CTEF are maneuvering through the area of responsibility and making sure they get the equipment to where it needs to go without disrupting things like border politics, working with all of the different levels, keeping accurate records of the equipment and training, and working within the confines and requests of the country needing the Fund.
    “The movement and divestment of CTEF equipment is a total enterprise effort and requires support, coordination, and engagement through multiple avenues,” Stewart said. “Key leader engagements between Iraqi leadership, CJTF leadership, and numerous other vested organizations are critical to any movement of CTEF equipment to and thru Iraq.”
    “We have a lot of moving pieces and parts. Every day is a different day,” Stewart continued. “Whatever solution I come up to with a problem today will not work tomorrow. It’s a challenge because this is not doctrinal, this is not linear and the parameters for this are super wide.”
    Although the fight on ISIL continues to evolve, CTEF remains a major conduit for allowing Coalition Forces to work by, with and through Iraq and Syrian forces and making sure they are fully trained and equipped to sustain security operations within their borders.



    Date Taken: 10.22.2018
    Date Posted: 10.22.2018 04:56
    Story ID: 297195
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW 

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