KABUL, Afghanistan –
Afghan forces are looking ahead, building their capabilities ahead of their spring campaign against the Taliban.
Part of that preparation is improving the Afghan supply chain, so officers from Resolute Support visited the 215 Corps' logistic warehouses to help them evaluate how they can improve.
Maj. Gen. Richard G. Kaiser, commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, met with Afghan Lt. Gen. Ahmadzai Sakhi, assistant director of the Ministry of Defense for Technology Acquisition and Logistics, in Helmand province earlier this month. Kaiser and Sakhi wanted to see how the 215th Corps plans to sustain its personnel and equipment.
"Our visit to the 215th Corps was to observe the ongoing winter campaign progress by senior leadership from MoD and to personally evaluate critical areas where CSTC-A can possibly provide additional support," Kaiser said.
His team has closely monitored the distribution of new equipment, vehicle repair parts availability, and the on-hand strength of mechanics working in the motor pool.
Thomas A. Lockhart, executive director of CSTC-A's Office of Sustainment, known as EF-5, said that during the visit it was evident that the ANA has been underutilizing an important parts inventory database, called the Core Inventory Management System. This database, when fully employed, can help Afghan military officials track which parts are needed, when, and who needs them, so those parts can be delivered to the right places at the right times.
Lockhart also mentioned that the 215th lacks enough warehouse workers in the Forward Support Depots to move parts and equipment quickly, and needs more trained military mechanics to put those parts and equipment to good use once they do reach the workshop.
Database utilization and personnel management are two of the key areas CSTC-A leaders identified as requiring NATO support moving forward, Lockhart and Kaiser said.
The 215th Corps, composed of three brigades of almost 12,000 soldiers, is stationed in Helmand, one of the most hotly contested provinces in the country since the U.S.-led military campaign began there more than 15 years ago.
The visit follows the announcement that 300 U.S. Marines will deploy to Helmand in the spring to train and advise Afghan soldiers. The Marines, who will make up Task Force Southwest, are slated to deploy to the province for nine months.
"This Marine deployment is part of our normal unit rotation policy, and as with all our rotational units, they will help preserve the gains made by their predecessors together with our Afghan partners," Kaiser said. "The Marine Corps has an operational history here that will surely be a force multiplier to the success of the overall mission; their deployment represents yet another component to our strong and enduring commitment to the people of Afghanistan."