The Regional Logistics Center in Balkh province is the first to completely transition to Afghan control. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)
BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Police have taken over logistics functions in northern Afghanistan. The Regional Support Command-North Logistics Training Advisory Team celebrated the transition of the local Regional Logistics Center in Balkh province to Afghanistan National Security Forces control during a short ceremony this month.
“It is a really great honor to be the first RLC in Afghanistan under complete Afghan control,” said Lt. Col. Kherijani Abdullah, RLC commander, during the ceremony. Up until now, coalition forces provided guidance and instruction on how to efficiently order and issue out supplies, conduct all vehicle maintenances, and how to properly document all necessary transactions.
Coalition forces and ANP staff joined together to sign over all necessary documents finalizing the turnover. Attendees included Brig. Gen. John Bullard, the deputy commander for coalition forces in Northern Afghanistan, Col. Ted Donnelly, the RSC-N commander, and several leaders with the 303rdANP.
“Once again, the RSC-North team and our ANP partners have led the way for transition in Afghanistan,” said Donnelly. “Lt. Col. Abdullah and his team deserve great credit for bringing RLC-Balkh to the point of self-sufficiency.”
Like other RLCs throughout the country, the Balkh RLC is in charge of issuing out various classes of supply to include clothing and individual equipment, ammunition, major end items such as vehicles, and medical supplies. However, unlike other logistic centers, the Balkh RLC supports nine provinces throughout the North, more than any other RLC.
“The biggest obstacle in transitioning was that this particular RLC covers the most amount of space,” said Army Capt. Scott J. Koritz, the senior ANP logistics advisor with RSC-N. “Some of the areas are hard to get supplies out to because they are so far from the major cities.”
Despite the issues and obstacles the RLC faced during the transition, the ANP organization is finally capable of managing all logistics operations on their own in the North.
“Their ability to order, receive, store and push supplies to the outlying units is what enables the provincial headquarters to concentrate on security measures for their region and not have to worry so much about being supplied,” said Koritz.
On top of that, turning over the responsibility and control of local sites is a serious ordeal for all the advisers involved. “It makes us proud as advisers to inform them that it is their own security forces that are out there every day doing the mission,” added Koritz. “The people of Afghanistan need to believe in this prior to coalition forces leaving Afghanistan.”
“Our ultimate mission here is for our Afghan counterparts to be in control of their own supply,” said Air Force Maj. Michael L. McLeod, the senior maintenance adviser with RSC-N. A mission, McLeod states, that is now complete.