TAJI, IRAQ, Nov. 20, 2019 —
Iraqi soldiers took charge of one of the largest divestments of vehicle repair parts while working with American counterparts at the Taji National Depot last month.
Task Force (TF) Lincoln Divestment, comprised of soldiers from the Iraq Army (IA) Transportation Brigade and the U.S. Army’s 108th Sustainment Brigade, transferred 1,925 vehicle repair parts purchased through the Counter-ISIS Train & Equip Fund (CTEF) program.
“The CTEF program has been going on for a while,” said Lt. Col. Adim Yousif, deputy commander of the 108th Sustainment Brigade. “Empowering the Iraq Army is a critical part of the U.S. approach to support the lasting defeat of ISIS.”
The Iraqis use CTEF to identify critical repair parts needed for sustainment operations. Once the request for parts has been made and validated, the parts are purchased through delegated funding. The responsibility of the 108th Sustainment Brigade is to ensure the correct parts get to the correct user.
“(The) CTEF program is there to help Iraqis get critical parts to better fight and protect their homeland,” Yousif said.
TF Lincoln Divestment’s purpose is to exercise the IA logistical system. Once the IA receives class nine supplies through CTEF, they are inventoried, then transported to the Joint Repair Parts Command, an Iraqi-centralized national supply and distribution facility. Then, Iraqis finish the process by unloading, organizing and distributing equipment as needed.
U.S. Army Col. Gerald L. Newman, commander of the 108th Sustainment Brigade, who oversees TF Lincoln Divestment, has worked closely with his team and the Iraq Army Transportation Brigade.
“We are alongside of them as partners, side by side in solving prospective obstacles,” Newman said. “… It is an Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem.”
The Iraqi Army has over 300 platforms they maintain and keep mission capable. For TF Lincoln Divestment, the IA took the lead by using an Iraqi transportation brigade to transport the parts.
Not only did they take charge of the operation, they are becoming subject matter experts in logistics.
“We continue to build our relationship,” Newman said. “Iraqis are honorable people and deeply passionate and committed to their country.”