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NTM-A mentors, Afghan partners attend logistics development conference
By Capt. Monika Comeaux 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
KABUL, Afghanistan (Oct. 30, 2012) — More than 100 participants, amongst them NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan personnel, listened to logistics updates from the Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and coalition briefers in a day-long conference Oct. 30.
The International Security Assistance Forces Joint Command, headquartered at the Kabul, Afghanistan, International Airport, organized the conference.
The long list of participants included Regional Support Command Logistics Training Advisory Team members, IJC Security Forces Advise and Assist Team members and ANA and ANP logisticians from the national and regional levels.
Turkish Capt. Fatih Cesur, representing the International Security Forces Afghanistan Combined Joined Logistics Section (CJ4), set the stage for the briefers to follow. He outlined three major lines of operations the coalition currently focuses on in regards to Afghan National Security Forces logistics development.
“The three LOOs we currently work with are human capital, material systems and infrastructure, and network of influences,” said Cesur.
“As the 2014 drawdown gets closer, we want a self-sustaining and self supporting ANSF. As you know, we still face significant challenges,” said Cesur.
However, means exist to overcome this, he continued. These include compliance with the logistics cooperation agreement between the MoI and MoD, investing in training and education, simplifying and shortening the reacquisition process, and taking ownership of problems, just to mention a few.
As Cesur explained, coalition forces believe that the ANSF needs to plan and prepare now to maintain, support and sustain themselves post 2014. In preparation of this support, there are already several initiatives in place. The fielding of equipment based on Tashkil authorizations is ongoing.
The deputy commander of the ANA’s Logistics Command, Brig. Gen. Mohamand Katawazi proudly shared statistics from the past eight months, going into great detail on the number of work orders completed in national level workshops. In the Central Work Shop alone, during the past month, among many other accomplishments, they repaired 7790 light weapons and 681 heavy weapons. In the CWS body shop, they painted eight Afghan Air Force helicopters and 111 vehicles.
An ANP briefer clearly stated that the ANP is ready to take over fuel management in certain areas of the country by 2013, and that the ANA has pushed out all of its winter clothing items as part of winterization.
While coalition forces briefed on the availability of training, the status of building projects and changes in contract management, several ANSF participants used the forum to highlight issues and ask for further coalition assistance in the form of additional NATO weapons, vehicles, counter improvised explosive devices equipment and trained CIED personnel.
Col. Hadi from the Afghan Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics department also highlighted the issues in the area of training.
“In some instances, we may not have been ready to take over, but all of a sudden we were prompted to take charge,” he said.
The ANA is not ready to take over maintenance responsibilities, Hadi stated. The ANA’s procedures are significantly different from the ones the coalition uses. Things move much slower through our system, than the coalition can make things happen, Hadi said.
Col. Paul Schlimm, the chief of current operations (J3) for Deputy Command of Support Operations under NTM-A, talked about different training programs available for the ANSF.
“Most of the training targets the operators, but from next year on, there will be several management-level courses available,” said Schlimm.
He urged all interested ANSF partners to indicate the need for training through their mentors and trainers. Schlimm also forecasted more mobile training teams, which will be able to travel to remote locations and train the ANSF at their home stations.
The afternoon was spent with each region’s ANA and ANP representative providing a status on their personnel, equipment, best practices and logistics readiness.
NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan is a coalition of 38 troop-contributing nations charged with assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in generating a capable and sustainable Afghan National Security Force ready to take lead of their country's security by 2014. For more information about NTM-A, visit www.ntm-a.com.