News: Kandahar humanitarian assistance yard sees increase in activity
Story by Staff Sgt. Kenneth Hatten
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Joint Sustainment Command - Afghanistan’s Kandahar humanitarian assistance yard saw an increase in activity during the first three months of this year, resulting in double the amount of missions that were conducted in 2010.
“Our predecessors conducted approximately 45 missions in the latter part of last year, which was the bulk of their activity,” said Maj. Ailrick D. Young, humanitarian assistance officer for JSC-A. “We’ve completed more than 90 missions since we arrived last October, and we’re doing very well three months into the new year, so we’re pretty pleased with the progress we’ve made.”
Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Breaux, the replenishment NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) for the yard, said that the number of missions performed is only a part of the equation.
“Compared to last year at this time, we’ve done about half of the volume of business that we did last year,” said Breaux, “with a total of 400,000 pounds of supplies delivered versus 208,000 this year.”
However, in terms of dollar value, said Breaux, this year’s amount is a little more than double last year’s total of $427,000. “This year, we’ve delivered more than $837,000 worth of supplies to needy families in Afghanistan, and this is only the third week of March.”
Young and Breaux attribute the increase in deliveries to the fact that many units throughout Afghanistan are becoming more aware of what the HA yard can do for them in terms of humanitarian relief efforts.
“We did a special presentation on humanitarian assistance operations at the USFOR-A [U.S. Forces-Afghanistan] J9 Conference in Dec. 2010,” said Young, “and we basically told everyone about what we had available and how they could request it.”
Young said that the JSC-A J9 section also placed the information on the unit web portal in order to ensure greater knowledge distribution.
“Sgt. 1st Class John E. Beers, our Operations NCO, did a great job of putting our products and information out on the web portal,” said Young, “and this provides guidance and examples of everything that interested units would need to submit humanitarian assistance supply requests.”
Breaux said that the increased awareness and availability of humanitarian assistance supplies has enabled many units to make progress quickly in their areas of operation.
”It takes forever to build roads, bridges and schools,” said Breaux, “but we have supplies here that we can send to the war fighters directly, so that they can make an immediate difference in the quality of life of the Afghan people.”