Serving the Soldiers, Civilians and Families of 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
Issue 85 Jan. 07, 2012
SFAT 1 drives 10,000 miles Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Boyle Security Force Assistance Team 1
riving 10,000 miles is an accomplishment all in itself, but being able to drive that many miles on narrow congested roads, dodging vehicles bearing hazardous loads, sharing the road with inexperienced dangerous drivers and looking out for careless pedestrians sounds almost impossible. The “Mustang” Soldiers with Security Force Assistance Team 1, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, have reached the 10,000 mile mark on all seven of their vehicles Jan. 1. “Driving in Afghanistan is like driving in the Indy Five Hundred with people who have never driven before,” said Spc. Mitchell Burch, a team leader. “I never expected that I would need to dodge so many pedestrians,” said Spc. Patrick Taggart, a driver. “A 50,000 pound vehicle moving at 35 kilometers per hour just doesn’t seem to get their attention.” Though a few side mirrors have been lost since the SFAT 1 began driving in June 2011, there have not been any accidents nor injuries to themselves or civilians. The “Mustangs” advise the 2nd Brigade of the Afghan National Civil Order Police and must make regular trips to all their elements in Panjawei, Dand, Maiwad, Zharey and
Kandahar City. A frequent member who travels with SFAT 1 is 2nd BDE ANCOP Commander Brigadier General Gulhom Mohaidin. Visiting all the ANCOP elements is critical to Mohaidin and his staff because it gives them a better picture of what’s happening on ground and what type of support units need. “Their communications systems have improved dramatically, but bringing commanders together aides overall coordination of efforts,” said Lt. Col. Ben Eiser, the SFAT 1 commander. In addition to helping ANCOP commanders visit their troops, the “Mustangs” partnered in a logistics convoy from Kandahar to Kabul. “This movement required the coordination efforts at all levels and involved a partnership at the Soldier level that (we don’t) usually experience as a mentorship team,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Platt, a noncommissioned officer with SFAT 1. Logistics planning for the trip to Kabul proved challenging as well. Mustangs crossed through many battle spaces and had to plan communications, fuel stops and medical/recovery assets in the event they were needed. Polish and Czechoslovakian units owned some of areas the “Mustangs” traveled through, which added language barriers to
This is a common view of a busy day in Kabul where Security Force Assistance Team 1, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, completed an 18 hour partnered convoy from Kandahar City with their Afghan Civil Order Police partners.
the mix. “This movement was especially demanding for (us) because the trip up to Kabul took roughly 18 hours with one overnight stay in route, and the movement back took about 12 hours,” said Spc. Jake Davis, a Soldier with SFAT 1. “Mustang” Soldiers partnered with the ANCOP throughout the entire mission from the pre-combat inspections and rehearsals to the actual accomplishment of the mission and then to the end when they did an after action review. With the first 10,000 miles driven, SFAT 1 isn’t looking back, but to the future. “I’m proud of our team,” Eiser said, opening a non-alcoholic beer, “here’s to the next 10,000 miles driven safely.”
‘Lonestar’ contributes through parts turn-in Story and photo by Sgt. Seth Barham 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., PAO
o say the Task Force Lonestar maintenance team has been busy since the day they arrived in Afghanistan six months ago may be putting it lightly. There was an abundance of vehicle parts in the Class IX yard that weren’t compatible with the vehicles the task force had, said Staff Sgt. Dennis Hines, the maintenance control sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Soldiers from the HHC maintenance platoon and Company H, Forward Support
Company, 2nd STB began the turn-in process for the excess parts in June as part of a brigade wide effort to reinvest unused or unneeded equipment. Every part was inventoried, logged and determined whether it was something the task force would need during the deployment, said Spc. Tanisha Scott, a prescribed load list clerk with HHC. Parts deemed not necessary for the task force to retain are sent to one of the mainte-
Spc. Tanisha Scott, a prescribed load list clerk with HHC, 2nd STB, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., directs a forklift operator where to move parts to in the Class IX yard at FOB Farah.
nance distribution centers within Afghanistan and distributed to other units in need of those specific parts, Scott said. “It was a very long and tedious process but continued on page 2
‘Lonestar’ turn in continued from page 1
it had to be done,” said Hines. “Even though we couldn’t use some of the parts, other units in Afghanistan may need them.” “We may have 50 of a certain type of vehicle filter and not be able to use them and somewhere in Kandahar a unit may need five of those exact filters,” said Scott. “We are able
to help them out.” According to Hines, the process is 90 percent complete and has turned-in $1.8 million worth of equipment. The mass turn-in has given the Soldiers a sense of satisfaction knowing they are contributing to other units. “I think we are helping the overall fight here in Afghanistan because the parts we are turning-in are helping other units get their
Issue 85 Jan. 07, 2012
dead-lined vehicles back on the road,” said Scott.
Spc. Tanisha Scott, a prescribed load list clerk with HHC, 2nd STB, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., inventories parts in the Class IX yard at FOB Farah.
Soldiers work hard to improve infrastructure Story and photo by Sgt. Ruth Pagan 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., PAO
eeing the trashed, abandoned Afghan police headquarters building, Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, saw it as an opportunity to build better relations with the Afghan Uniformed Police and the people of Qadis. “We started with a building, an unfinished building,” said Capt. John Heideareich, commander of HHB. “The AUP refused to move in because it was unfinished; it had no power, no electricity.” The platoon hired contractors to rewire the building so they could hook up their generator. They also established a landing zone to receive supplies and improved the force protection by building an outer perimeter to the compound. “When we first got here it was real dirty and almost unlivable but we worked really hard to make it livable and make it better so when we leave the AUP can take it over,” said Capt. Mike Hanna, battle captain with HHB. “We had to clean up and get supplies out here,” said Staff Sgt. Shaheem Daily, a platoon sergeant with HHB. “Our biggest concerns at first were force protection and getting the (landing zone) operational.” “We got the building where we need it with power and water and now we are establishing an (Operation Control Center-District), which is assisting and advising the AUP here,” Heideareich said. The platoon established a structure where
Warhorse Pride Col. John S. Kolasheski...................2nd BCT Commander Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Delosa..............2nd BCT CSM Maj. Kevin Toner................................................2nd BCT PAO Sgt. Seth Barham..................................................PAO NCOIC Sgt. Ruth Pagan......................................Layout and Design Sgt. April York.........................................Layout and Design
Soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, put up concertina wire to improve the force protection around their compound. The Soldiers have made many improvements to the small compound.
the AUP and local government officials can come and have weekly coordination meetings, Heideareich said. The platoon also mentors the AUP. “We do force (protection) with them,” Daily said. “It’s just little steps but they are learning. We do a lot of hands on training with them. We do whatever we can to help them out, so they can see we are here for them.” “We’ve just been showing them how to set up security when their out at places and how to properly search people when they come to the gate,” Hanna said. “Just helping them with the basics of what we do.” When the Soldiers first arrived the community was not very receptive.
“The (girls) stopped going to school because they had to walk in front of our location and they were afraid,” Hanna said. One of the ways the Soldiers are proving to the community that they are here to help is by contracting locals to restore the local mosque, Heideareich said. Hanna said now the girls go to school and are not afraid to walk in front of the compound. “Americans are human lovers; we know they are here to help us,” said Capt. Abduhal Qadus Kadri the commander of the jail which is located within the compound. “The ultimate goal is to transition the OCC-D to the AUP,” Heideareich said. “They should go forward and do great things.”
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