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Sustainer August 2012


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The official magazine of the Joint Sustainment Command - Afghanistan and the 3d Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

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Sustainer August 2012

  1. 1. August2012 Sustainer Published in the interest of Joint Sustainment Command - Afghanistan Soldiers and their Families The Salang Tunnel Page 5781st Trans. Co. runs convoys Page 13
  2. 2. Volume3 Sustainer August2012On the inside ... From the editor:Commander’s Corner Welcome to the third edition of Sustainer magazine - a monthly publication by the Joint Sus- Page 3 tainment Command - Afghanistan Public Affairs Of- fice.The Chaplain’s Office Page 3 This magazine is for you - Soldiers and Fami- lies of the JSC-A. We’d like to get your feedback onCSM’s Corner the content and anything you’d like to see in future Page 4 issues, so send me an e-mail, or write on our Face- book wall ( Salang Tunnel I want to remind everyone that the deadlines Page 5 for submitting absentee ballot requests are coming up soon. It is extremely important that every SoldierBecoming a citizen and Family member takes the time to vote - it is a Page 6 right we defend, so we need to take the time to exer- cise that right.That’s a lot of cargo Page 7 Each state has different deadlines and re- quirements, so head on over to to find the18th CSSB uncases colors exact details for your home state, and as always, if you have any questions, or need any help, please let Page 8 me know. KAF food court opens Sgt. 1st Class Rob Strain Page 8 Sustainer EditorIndependence Day at KAF Page 9RPAT helps draw down Page 10THINK: negligent discharges Page 11And much more ... The Sustainer magazine is an authorized publication for members of the DOD. Contents of Sustainer are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government or the Department of the Army. The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs Office. Brig. Gen. Kristin French, Comanding General, 3d ESC Maj. Jim Bono, Public Affairs Officer Sgt. 1st Class Rob Strain, Sustainer Editor Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin, Sustainer Staff Writer Contributing Writers: Sgt. Gregory Williams, Spc. Isaac Adams, Sgt. 1st Class Luis Saavedra The Sustainer staff can be reached by email at, by phone: (502) 624-8523, or by mail to 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), ATTN: PAO, 1747 Old Ironsides Ave, Fort Knox, KY 40121. Brig. Gen. Kristin K. French, the commander of the Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan and the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), greets Afghan Lt. Gen. Mohammad Rajab, Minister of Public Works for the Salang Pass, during her visit to the Salang Pass in Afghanistan’s Parwan province on July 27. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin) Page 2
  3. 3. Volume3 Sustainer August2012 Commander’s Corner - Afghanistan Joint Sustainment Command Brig. Gen. Kristin FrenchSustainer Families and friends, it isn’t nearly as hot as it is here), and there will be many activities Greetings! JSC-A had a going on around Fort Knox andtruly busy July – on top of our the 3d ESC. Make sure you takeongoing sustainment support, we the time to stay informed - all thetook some time to celebrate our latest from Fort Knox and Afghani-Nation’s independence, enjoyed stan is available on our Facebooksome barbeque with members of page ( Army family, and continued tosupport each other as we serve so I want to thank the Sol-far away from home. diers and Families of JSC-A for what they do every day – our Sol- CSM Roberts and I spent a diers are doing extremely well, andgreat deal of time in July travelling I am very proud of all their hardaround Afghanistan visiting our work. Families and friends, thankunits. Included in our battlefield you for your endless support ofcirculation was a visit to Mazar- the Soldiers. They have a hard job,e-Sharif where the JSC-A Deputy and it is your support that helpsCommander, COL Chris Wicker, them each and every day – thankand several others are overseeing you for sustaining them so theythe build of a Northern Logistics cal to keeping service members in can Sustain the Line.Hub, visits to see JSC-A Soldiers Afghanistan sustained as suppliesin Qatar, Kabul and Bagram, and move across the country. Have a great August!a recent visit to the Salang Net-work with one of our subordinate For those of you back Sustaining the Line!units. The route runs through home in the States, the summer is Brig. Gen. Kristin K. Frenchthe Hindu Kush Mountains and quickly coming to an end – school Sustainer 6includes a 1.6-mile tunnel, built in will be starting soon, the tempera-1964. The Salang Network is criti- tures may finally cool off (although The Chaplain’s Command - Afghanistan Joint Sustainment Office Chaplain David VanderJagtThe Holy Ramadan During the month of Ra- is 1/30 of the Qur’an) is recited. madan, Muslims fast from dawn to Therefore the entire Qur’an would Greetings. Ramadan is dusk. be completed at the end of thethe ninth month of the Islamic month.calendar, which lasts 29 to 30 Ramadan is a time ofdays. It is the Islamic month of reflecting, believing and worship- Muslims all around thefasting, in which participating ing God. Muslims are expected to world will abstain from food andMuslims refrain from eating and put more effort into following the drink, through fasting, from dawndrinking and is intended to teach teachings of Islam and to avoid to sunset. At sunset, the familyMuslims about patience, humility, obscene and irreligious sights and will gather the fast-breaking mealand spirituality. Muslims fast for sounds. known as Iftar.the sake of God and to offer moreprayer than usual. In addition to fasting, The holiday of Eid ul-Fitr Muslims are encouraged to read marks the end of the fasting peri- Muslims believe Ramadan the entire Qur’an. Some Mus- od of Ramadan and the first day ofto be an auspicious month for the lims perform the recitation of the the following month, after anotherrevelations of God to humankind, entire Qur’an by means of special new moon has been sighted.being the month in which the first prayers, called Tarawih, which areverses of the Qur’an were revealed held in the mosques every night of Chaplain VanderJagtto the Islamic prophet, Muham- the month, during which a wholemad. section of the Qur’an (Juz’, which Page3
  4. 4. Volume3 Sustainer August2012 Command Sgt. Command - Afghanistan Joint Sustainment Maj.’s Corner Command Sgt. Maj. Karl RobertsGreetings from Kandahar Air- As leaders, we have tofield, emphasize the importance of fol- lowing the rules and staying in the Team, as always, I would game until the mission is com-first like to thank the families plete. For those of us who travel toand friends of the 3d Sustain- locations throughout Afghanistan,ment Command (Expeditionary) we have to avoid routines andfor the tremendous support they’ve patterns, as the enemy is alwaysshowed our Soldiers during our watching and pays attention todeployment thus far. The love and everything that we do. As wesupport you’ve showed our Sol- continue to do great things duringdiers have provided a tremendous this deployment, let’s make sureboost to the overall morale of the complacency is not an issue within3d Sustainment Command (Expe- the 3d ESC.ditionary) and Joint SustainmentCommand – Afghanistan. When we come together as a team, there’s nothing we can’t While our Soldiers have far accomplish. To the Soldiers ofexceeded the expectations of the the 3d ESC, stay motivated, staycommand’s leadership, there are focused and always remember toalways areas that can be approved sustain the line.upon. And while it may not nec-essarily be an issue in our com- Sustaining the Line!mand, it’s an issue relevant to the CSM Karl A. RobertsU.S. Army, which is complacency. nearing the end of their respective Sustainer 7 tours. At this particular point, Complacency has been cit- Soldiers tend to take short cutsed as the primary factor contribut- and begin to not follow their tacti-ing to casualties in Afghanistan cal practices to the fullest and asand is common amongst those a result, accidents happen.Find something that worked - or didn’t work? Let CALL knowCALL LNO to JSC-A:Lt. Col. Mike Lessons Learned NIPR website:https://call2army.milArmy Professional Forums: SIPRNET Homepage: SIPRNET OEF Current Operations: Center for Army Lessons Learned rapidly collects, analyzes, disseminates and archives OIL, TTP and op-erational records in order to facilitate rapid adapation initiatives and conduct focused knowledge sharing andtransfer that informs the Army and enables operationally based decision making, integration, and innovation throughout the Army and within the JIIM environment. Page4
  5. 5. Volume3 Sustainer August2012 Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin (Left) Lt. Gen. Mohammad Rajab, Minister of Public Works for the Salang Pass, briefed Brig. Gen. Kristin K. French, the commander of Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan and the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), during her visit to the Salang Pass in Afghani- stan’s Parwan province on July 27. The Salang Pass is a critical route which connects northern and southern Afghanistan and travels through the Hindu Kush Mountains. The Salang Pass in- cludes a 1.6 mile tunnel which was built in 1964 by the Soviets and handles anywhere from an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 vehicles daily. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin) (Below) Col. Kurt J. Ryan, commander of the 10th Sustainment Brigade, presents Lt. Gen. Moham- mad Rajab, Minister of Public Works for the Salang Pass, a gift during a recent visit to the Salang Pass in Afghanistan’s Parwan province. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin)Brig. Gen. Kristin K. French, the commander of the Joint SustainmentCommand – Afghanistan and the 3d Sustainment Command (Expedition-ary), greets Afghan Lt. Gen. Mohammad Rajab, Minister of Public Worksfor the Salang Pass, during her visit to the Salang Pass in Afghanistan’s Several trucks carrying supplies wait to enter the Salang Tunnel inParwan province on July 27. The Salang Pass is a critical route which con- Afghanistan’s Parwan province. The 1.6 mile tunnel was built in 1964 bynects northern and southern Afghanistan and travels through the Hindu the Soviets and handles anywhere from an estimated 10,000 to 20,000Kush Mountains. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin) vehicles daily. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin) Page5
  6. 6. Volume3 Sustainer August2012Sustainers host naturalization ceremony Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin was the Honorable Stephen G. McFarland, the Ambassador and KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Coordinating Director Rule of LawAfghanistan – The Joint Sustain- and Law Enforcement for the U.S.ment Command-Afghanistan Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.hosted a naturalization ceremonyat Kandahar Airfield on June 29, McFarland, who joined the2012. embassy in January, said that he was honored to have the opportu- In total, 44 service mem- nity to attend the ceremony andbers serving in the Combined Joint aid in the process of naturalizingOperations Area-Afghanistan took America’s newest citizens. Hepart in the ceremony and officially explained that by taking the Oathbecame American citizens. of Citizenship, they were follow- ing in the footsteps of many others Brig. Gen. Kristin K. who had become American’s manyFrench, the commanding gen- years ago.eral of JSC-A, thanked everyonein attendance as these service “Today, you are all Ameri-members achieved their American cans,” McFarland told the servicedream. members. “By taking the Oath of Citizenship, you’re joining a long “Today we celebrate the and proud tradition.” Sgt. John Mesias admires an American FlagAmerican dream. The dream of a during the naturalization ceremony sponsored by Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistannation where all people are cre- For many of those natu- on June 29. In total, forty-four service membersated equal,” said French. “You are ralized during the ceremony, the serving in the combined joint operations area-here because you have not merely opportunity to become American Afghanistan took part in the ceremony in which they officially became American citizens. (U.S.chosen to live in this country, you citizens was one that they have Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin)have chosen to serve this country dreamed of for many years. and become an American citizen come a citizen one day, but waswhile deployed to Afghanistan.” When Marine Cpl. Carlos never sure of when. He said that A. Silva joined the military, he he traveled to the United States Speaking at the ceremony said that he knew he would be- with his parents as a young child, and grew up there. For Silva, this day was special and overwhelming at the same time. “I’m truly happy to be here,” said Silva. “Today is a special day for myself and my family.” The Joint Sustainment Command-Afghanistan hosted a naturalization ceremony at Kandahar Airfield on June 29, 2012. In total, forty-four service members serving in the combined joint operations area-Afghanistan took part in the ceremony in which they officially became Ameri- can citizens. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin)Service members recite the Oath of Citizenship during the naturalization ceremony sponsored byJoint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan on June 29. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. MichaelBehlin) Page 6
  7. 7. Volume3 Sustainer August2012Multi Modal Yard redeploys over 17.2M lbs of cargo Sgt. Gregory Williams KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Whenthe Ground Lines of Communication, or GLOC,closed, the Army was forced to use air assets in itsredeployment process. This challenge was met head on with theArmy and Air Force working together to move cargoas effectively as possible. Contributing to the redeployment mission, the822nd Movement Control Detachment out of Boston,Mass., opened Kandahar Airfield’s first Multi ModalYard, which facilitates and centralizes cargo move-ment from KAF to the United States. Spc. Eric Wilson, an armor supply specialist with the 209th Military Police The Multi Modal Yard has moved approxi- Company (left), performs a weapons inventory in the Kandahar Airfield Multi Modal Yard on July 11, 2012. The 209th MP Co. is preparing formately over 17.2 million lbs of equipment in a six unit’s redeployment back to the United States. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt.month period, which has contributed to the biggest Gregory Williams)air lift operation since the Cold War. has helped to make the redeployment process easier for units by helping them schedule joint inspections “What amazes me about this mission is how and palletizing cargo. within our detachment we have all the qualifiedpersonnel who can run this yard efficiently by them- “Other yards would tell a unit they’re respon-selves,” Staff Sgt. Matthew Wissell, the noncom- sible for scheduling appointments, moving cargo, roll-missioned officer in charge of the Multi Modal Yard, ing stock, and contacting the Air Force, but we say822nd MCT said. hey you’ve done your part outside the wire so let us take care of you,” Sgt. Josemy Morales, a movement “Our unit was totally self-sustaining because control supervisor, 822nd MCT said.we had transportation managers, a cargo specialist,and truck drivers, which is rare for a MCT to have.” “We’re more customer service oriented and whatever we can do to make the transition from KAF The Multi Modal yard works with the Air back home easier, we’ll do it.”Force’s Alpha Yard and Mike Ramp to redeploy pal-lets, quad-cons, tri-cons, containers, and military The soldiers of the Multi Modal Yard havevehicles back to the United States. helped various units during their redeployment from KAF back to the states such as 10th Moun- As many Forward Operating Bases close in tain Division, 25th Infantry Division, 4th Infantryanticipation of the drawdown, the Multi Modal yard Division,14th Combat Engineer Battalion, and other smaller detachments. “Everything that would normally go by con- voy, when it comes to the Multi Modal Yard we help redeploy it by air, which if it has to go we’re going to get it to go,” said Wissell. “We provide a service that’s very unique and not available on KAF.” Even with the reopening of the GLOC, the 822nd MCT Multi Modal Yard will continue to work 24 hours, 7 days a week to make sure units go home with everything they brought with them. Whether it’s working with local national driv- ers or the Air Force, this detachment will make sure every unit reunites with their cargo.Sgt. Micheal Newton, a transportation movement noncommissioned officerwith the 822nd Movement Control Detachment, uses a forklift to move atricon in the Kandahar Airfield Multi Modal Yard on July 16, 2012. TheMulti Modal yard has redeployed over 17 million pounds of cargo back tothe United States in the past 6 months. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. GregoryWilliams) Page7
  8. 8. Volume3 Sustainer August2012 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion uncases colors Lt. Col. Michelle Letcher, the battalion commander of the 18th Combat Sustainment Sup- port Battalion, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ian Griffin, the 18th CSSB’s senior enlisted advisor, uncase the unit’s colors during a ceremony held at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on June 29. The 18th CSSB, based out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, will assume command and control of the full spectrum of sustainment operations as part of a battalion or theater sustainment command operation during its deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (Right) Members of the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion color guard present the colors during an uncasing ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on June 29. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin)Kandahar Airfield food court opens Sgt. Gregory Williams 655th RSG. go overboard with the whoppers.” KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, “To have the generals of “This food court increasesAfghanistan – A new food court both KAF and the Joint Sustain- morale for all the Soldiers living inopened at Kandahar Airfield, Af- ment Command - Afghanistan was the South Park area and on KAFghanistan on July 4, 2012. a great way to start the event and because it gives them a place to open up for business,” Gagne said. unwind,” Gagne said. The food court includes aBurger King, Popeye’s, Pizza Hut After the ceremony, Sol- Gagne said he couldn’tand a Village Cuisine. Kandahar diers from the 655th RSG handed have succeeded without the help ofAirfield is home to 23,000 NATO out coupons for free meals in order Staff Sgt. David Stanton, a projectservice members and the food to get the word out. manager, 655th RSG and Capt.court hopes to offer more of a vari- Nancy Lawrence, an officer inety to Soldiers. The mission of the food charge, 655th RSG. court is to not only offer more food The ribbon cutting ceremo- options to Soldiers, but also brings “Without the support of myny for the food court was hosted some popular restaurants to Af- team this mission would’ve beenby the 655th Regional Support ghanistan. a lot harder. It’s because of theirGroup with the ribbon being cut hard work the vendors got to workby Brig. Gen. Scott L. Dennis, “During my lunch break out all the kinks and fine tunecommanding general, 451st Air back at home, I would eat Burger everything,” Gagne said. Expeditionary Wing and KAF, King everyday so to see one hereBrig. Gen. Kristin K. French, com- makes me feel right at home,” Spc. Whether it’s a crispy piecemanding general, Joint Sustain- Edith Thomas, a logistical spe- of chicken, a crunchy french fry,ment Command - Afghanistan, cialist, 583rd Medical Logistical a juicy burger, or a cool shake, Company said. Soldiers on KAF can now taste a Col. Ernest Erlandson, bit of home at the new South Parkcommander, 655th Region Support “You know all of us get food court.Group, and Lt. James L. Gagne, a tired of eating at the dining facili-contracting officer representative, ties, but I hope that Soldiers don’t 8 Page
  9. 9. Volume3 Sustainer August2012Kandahar celebrates Independence Day Sgt. Gregory Williams KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Servicemembers took part in the NATO Multinational Role 3Independence Day celebration at the hospital’s deckon July 3, 2012. The United Services Organizationsponsored the event as service members came to-gether to celebrate America’s independence. A hospital deck filled with water balloonfights, tri-cycle races, raffles, and grilled pepperonipizzas was a scene that could’ve easily been takenfrom a park. “People have this perception of the hospitalnot being a fun place, but it helps us service mem-bers to bond,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Mason, NCOIC ofthe Warrior Recovery Center with NATO Role 3 Multi-national Medical Unit. “This event was a stress relieffor the staff and gave some wounded warriors time tonot focus on their injuries. As service members munched down on hotdogs, hamburgers, and macaroni potato salad, amember of the Role 3 unit announced to everyonethat it would be the last call for free raffle tickets. Acrowd of Soldiers surrounded the staff worker with More than 600 service members took part in the NATO Multina- tional Role 3 Independence Day celebration on July 3, 2012 at Kandaharhopes of winning an X-Box, iPad, or a pair of Dre Airfield. The USO sponsored the event as service members came togetherBeats, which were donated by the Kandahar USO. to celebrate America’s independence. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams) “The men and women of the Role 3 work tire- The highlight of the evening was the bas-lessly every day to care for our injured service mem- ketball contest between the enlisted personnel andbers and it’s a great thing to take care of the Role officers, which was followed by an impromptu water3 in return,” said Priya Butler, Director of the USO balloon fight.Southwest Asia region. “It’s always good to have non-military sup- “One of the most fun prizes we gave away was port for events it shows the amazing support andthe Michael Jackson dance off for the X-Box.” love they have for all the troops,” Sgt. Eric Sargent, a warrior recovery noncommissioned officer, NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit said. As the evening winded down and service members refocused on their mission, the attendees had fun celebrating America’s independence. “We all miss the celebrations at home, but this was a chance to enjoy our Independence Day in Afghanistan and we had a great time doing it,” Butler said. Even though the service members didn’t have a park or fireworks display they had the deck and sounds of fighter jets taking off. A holiday usually celebrated by families was instead celebrated with brothers and sisters in arms. “Having events like this breaks up the nor- mal day to day operations and not only did it help us unwind, but it brings the staff, NATO forces, thePetty Officer 2nd Class Stephanie Morrow and Sgt. Eric Sargent, a warriorof the NATO Role 3 Multinational Unit engage in an intense water fight on USO, and wounded warriors together to celebrate theJuly 4, 2012 at Kandahar Airfield. The two service members celebrated greatest country in the world’s independence,” saidthe 4th of July by eating hamburgers and getting into water fights on thehospitals deck. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams) Sargent. Page9
  10. 10. Volume3 Sustainer August2012RPAT yard helps with U.S. Forces draw down Sgt. Gregory Williams BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Af-ghanistan – For units redeployinghome, the Redistribution PropertyAccountability Team yard repre-sents the end of mission. But for the Soldiers of the3rd Battalion, 401st Army FieldSupport Brigade, it represents amission that will continue untilthe last Soldier goes home. The 3-401st works withcontractors to in-process battledamaged vehicles, conduct ammoabatement operations and rede-ploys cargo back to the U.S. Spc. Anthony Espinal, a transportation data clerk, 427th Brigade Support Battalion, inputs data on In the last four months, the the Redistribution Property Accountability Team yard tracker on July 19, 2012 at Bagram Airfield.RPAT yard has redeployed more The RPAT yard tracker allows the 3rd Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Battalion to track and inventory all retrograde cargo. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams)than 1,600 pieces of rolling stockwith the anticipation of the work- 3-401st has been so overwhelm- “I have great Soldiers andload tripling in the coming months ing that the battalion has received my goal at the end of this deploy-during the U.S. Forces drawdown. cross-leveled Soldiers from the ment is to retrograde 50,000 or 427th BSB who are learning trans- more combat vehicles,” McNulty “I know there are other portation management skills. said. “Our unit hopes to increaseyards on Bagram that help with the monthly velocity of retrogradethe redeployment process, but it “I come from an infantry to exceed 600 vehicles per monthfeels like everyone in country is unit originally doing signal sup- to make that happen.”coming through our yard,” port systems stuff, but now I’m learning more about transporta- As the traffic continues to Spc. Anthony Espinal, a tion operations,” Espinal said. flow through the Ground Linestransportation data clerk with the of Communications (GLOC), the427th Brigade Support Battalion Lt. Col. Brian McNulty, a 3-401st AFSB will start to rede-cross leveled to the 3-401st AFSB logistics task force commander, ploy cargo at a faster rate.said. “Everyday it’s a lot of trucks, 3-401st AFSB, said the cross-lev-a lot of paperwork and a lot of eled Soldiers are learning how to “Until we perfect the ret-tracking everything that goes in become logisticians because they rograde process all we’re doing isand out of our yard.” have great attitudes and determi- trying to make the mission more nation. effective,” Espinal said. “In the The workload for the past four months we’ve moved over $500 million worth of cargo so the better the process, the easier it helps units get home.” McNulty said even though there have been some difficulty with the RPAT yard process en- forcement, this is shaping out to be the best mission he’s ever had. The mission of the RPAT yard may not be an easy one, but for the 3-401st AFSB it doesn’t have to be easy … a sense of ful-Master Sgt. Patrick Perez, a noncommissioned officer in charge, 3rd Battalion, 401st Army Field fillment will come when the job isSupport Brigade and Sgt. Joriann Garcia Hernandez, a supply sergeant, 427th Brigade Support Bat- done.talion, discuss cargo placement inside the Redistribution Property Accountability Team yard on July19, 2012 at Bagram Airfield. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams) Page10
  11. 11. Volume3 Sustainer August2012THINK: Negligent Discharges JSC-A Safety Office The improper handling and clearing of a per-sonal weapon can be deadly. Over the past 15 months, four service mem-bers have been killed from negligent discharges. JSC-A has had 7 NDs since May 12, 57% oc-curred away from clearing barrels. A little under halfhave occurred due to mishandling of the weapon, ei-ther not knowing what they were doing, or not treat-ing the weapon as a weapon. The main factors are complacency and overconfidence. Leaders and individual service membersneed to stay focused on the mission at hand when han-dling weapons. Warrant Officers Corps celebrate 94th birthday Chief Warrant Officer 5 Curtis Grover, Brig. Gen. Kristin K. French and Warrant Officer Leon Griffith, cut a cake in tribute to the Warrant Officer Corps 94th Birthday during a ceremony on Kandahar Airfield on July 9, 2012. French was the guest speaker at the event which honored the corps history and lin- eage. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin) Page11
  12. 12. Volume3 Sustainer August2012Brig. Gen. David Clarkson visits the 18th CSSB retrograde yard Spc. Isaac Adams KANDAHAR AIRFIELD,Afghanistan – Brig. Gen. DavidClarkson, the Deputy Command-ing General of the 1st TheaterSustainment Command walkedthrough the Kandahar RetrogradeYard with Lt. Col. Michelle M.T.Letcher, the commander of the18th Combat Sustainment Sup-port Battalion, July 10. The retrograde yard isstaffed primarily by the unitsand Soldiers of the 18th CSSB;the Special Troops Battalion,45th Sustainment Brigade; BravoCompany, 113th Special Troops Bat-talion; and Bravo Company, 427thBrigade Support Battalion. Clark-son and Letcher walked thoughthe yard, speaking with the Sol-diers, civilians, noncommissionedofficers and officers working in the Spc. Corey Sutton, from Woodbridge, Va. and Sgt. Davin Pelton of Troy, Il., both automated logistic specialists with the 40th QMC of the 45th special troops battalion, speak with the deputy command-yard. ing general of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, Brig. Gen. David Clarkson, about the opera- tion of the processing portion of the retrograde yard. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Isaac Adams, 18th Spc. Tommy Wilson, an Combat Sustainment Support Battalion)information systems technician, out of [Afghanistan], really, that’s from leaders on multiple differentfrom Stokesdale, N.C., with Bravo a good thing.” levels.Company, 113th Special TroopsBattalion, works in the sorting During the walkthrough, “My primary mission is totent in the Kandahar Retrograde Clarkson said the retrograde find and sort the items that weYard. support of Operation Enduring receive,” stated Spc. Jade Bumbry, Freedom, here in Afghanistan, a unit supply clerk from Roanoke, “It’s that first step that will most likely be attracting a lot Va., who is here with Bravo Com-we’ve been waiting on for awhile, of attention from multiple higher pany, 113th Special Troops Battal-so I’m glad it’s here,” Wilson said. headquarters. With that, Clark- ion.“Yeah, the actual job is not easy, son urged the Soldiers in the yardbut being the first step of getting to be prepared for multiple visits “We are the second step in the whole retrograde process here on Kandahar Airfield. So we sort through every little thing into like items, then they go into process- ing,” Bumbry said. Here in Kandahar, the 18th CSSB works hard to support the resorting and retrograde of the materials and supplies out of, and around, Afghanistan, in order to minimize loss of materials and to lower the expenses. The Soldiers in the yard have been working long and hard hours to keep the mission going. “We push through just as much as we physically can,” Wil-Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Phillips, the motor sergeant for HHC, 18th CSSB, explains the maintenance portion of the retrograde son said.yard to the deputy commanding general of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. Page12
  13. 13. Volume3 Sustainer August2012Soldiers build logistics hub, call it home Sgt. 1st Class Luis Saavedra BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan – 10th Sus-tainment Brigade’s Team Lightning completed theconstruction of Logistics Support Area Lightning July10 as one of the first steps in opening up the newstrategic logistics hub for Regional Command-North. The team consisted of Soldiers from severaldifferent units who came together to work on theproject. LSA Lightning is the first LSA constructed onCamp Pratt, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, and was Team Lightning Soldiers constructed a dining facility and various othercompleted in less than 30 days. Enabling completion tents in June 2012. The Soldiers completed the Logistics Support Area Lightning in 30 days in extreme heat and dusty conditions marking theof the strategic logistics hub ahead of schedule, the first step in the completion of the new strategic logistics hub for RegionalLSA will provide billeting, showers, latrines, laundry, Command-North. (U.S. Army photo)gym, and MWR facilities, as well as a dining facility. feel of the LSA. They will now be able to live in the Capt. Adam R. Christenson, Team Lightning’s area and continue to work on the site.officer in charge, said that it’s amazing to see a groupof Soldiers come together as a team and take owner- “I have enough space and it is quiet out here,”ship of a project. said Spc. Gretchen Sinclair, a food service specialist assigned to 378th Combat Sustainment Support Bat- “Team Lightning had a clear mission and the talion. “It’s cleaner, newer and there is less traffic.”Soldiers moved with a purpose, taking pride in theirwork and doing what others said couldn’t be done,” Christenson thanked the mechanics, cooks,said Christenson. truck drivers, and signal Soldiers who made up Team Lightning as well as the RC-North Southwest Expan- Soldiers worked for more than three weeks in sion Area Operational Planning Team.intense heat and dusty conditions. They conducted24-hour operations to ensure the construction was “It was a real honor to work with Team Light-completed as soon as possible. ning,” said Christenson. Soldiers were proud to see that all their hard Everyone is welcome to stay at LSA paid off. Some Soldiers were happy to be in a Soldiers moved in after the grand opening ceremonyplace with new facilities. and the recognition of Soldiers from Team Lightning. Spc. Tanya A. Christophe, a food service “This project is just another example of ourspecialist assigned to 514th Support Maintenance executors accomplishing whatever mission is given toCompany, said she is proud of being a part of the them,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jose A. Castillo, 10thteam who built the LSA and is excited to be working Sustainment Brigade senior enlisted advisor. “Theirwith new equipment in the dining facility. go hard, no fail attitude proves that this is the best combat tested force in the world.” Soldiers like the new billets and the overall781st Soldiers tackle convoy missions Sgt. Gregory Williams sustain the warfighter takes pre- “I take so much pride in cedence over fear and hesitation. this job because I’m helping to KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, transport items that the SoldiersAfghanistan – The roads of Af- The 781st TC transports out in the field need,” Spc. Danielghanistan present many challeng- retrograde cargo from Kandahar Patterson, a truck driver, 781stes, whether it’s driving through Airfield to various forward operat- TC, said. “People just look at usa rocky mountainous terrain, a ing bases throughout Afghanistan. as truck drivers, but our missionscrowded intersection or looking are a necessity because nothingfor hidden improvised explosive On a recent mission to For- moves unless we move.” devices by the roadside. ward Operating Base Walton, the unit had to deliver Stryker parts The Soldiers of the 781st For the Soldiers of the and multi-class items, which in TC feel that even though many of781st Transportation Company out the eyes of the Soldiers is a mis- the missions conducted outsideof Ft. Deposit, Ala., the mission to sion critical. See 781st, next page Page13
  14. 14. Volume3 Sustainer August2012781st, from previous equipment is phenomenal.”the wire are predominately in-fantry and improvised explosive At FOB Walton, the Sol-device related, truck drivers never diers worked fast and efficiently toreceive the attention that other unload and upload cargo makingmilitary occupations get. their mission seem like another day at the motor pool back home. Staff Sgt. Joseph Ander-son, a palletized load system truck “You have to watch out forcommander, 781st TC, said he’s your loads and make sure thatserved in the U.S. Army for 39 Sgt. Anthony Hall, a truck driver, 781st Trans- you can handle it that’s the only portation Company, ground guides a MaxxProyears. Anderson has taken part in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle into a real hard part,” Anderson said.the Vietnam War, Operation Iraqi holding yard on July 24, 2012 at Kandahar Air- “Once you’ve done all the trainingFreedom and Operation Endur- field. The National Guard unit out of Ft. Deposit, all you have to make sure is that Ala., transports cargo to various forward operat-ing Freedom and has watched the ing bases in Southern Afghanistan. (U.S. Army you do whatever it takes to com-battlefield evolution of what the photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams) plete the mission.”Army calls a truck driver. Anderson said. “These insurgents For the 781st TC it doesn’t “In the last 39 years I’ve don’t fight with fear, but we’re matter if a Soldier has done mul-seen it all, but the difference is always ready for the challenge and tiple tours or if they come from athat we’re fighting an enemy who’s that has always made our Army military family, every time theymuch more fierce and aggressive”, stronger.” leave Kandahar Airfield compla- cency isn’t an option. With that strength, the 781st TC has completed more than ”My grandfather was a 30 missions in the three months Marine and my uncle was in the they’ve been on Kandahar Air- Navy, so being a part of the draw- field, transporting everything from down process is a great duty,” weapons to commodities, no mat- Patterson said. “My job is to help ter how dangerous the routes. sustain other FOB’s, so Soldiers depend on me to get their mission “Honestly my first mission done, which I always have to focus I was scared and my nerves were on being ready.”A Palletized Load System unloads a container so far blown, but even though youinside the Stryker yard at Forward Operating don’t know what to expect you The routes the Soldiers ofBase Walton on July 24th, 2012. The PLS vehicleis a highly mobile system capable of transporting have to do it,” Patterson said. “I the 781st TC travel will constantlycargo through virtually any type of terrain. trust the vehicle I’m in and the change, but not the mission, which is to sustain those in the battlefield. No matter the road or how dangerous the path, the 781st TC are the torches that light the way to freedom. Spc. Cornelius Johnson, a truck driver, 781st Transportation Company, tightens the straps on a palletized load on July 24, 2012 at Forward Operating Base Walton. Johnson is a NationalSoldiers with the 781st Transportation Company strap down cargo on July 24, 2012 at Forward Guardsmen with the 781st TC, which transportsOperating Base Walton. The 781st TC transports cargo between Kandahar Airfield and other FOB’s, cargo to various forward operating bases inhelping to sustain troops out in the field. Southern Afghanistan. Page14
  15. 15. Volume3 Sustainer August2012 July 4th around the world: Photos from Facebook Page15