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The platoon sergeant of Transportation Platoon, Corps Logistics Battalion, 215th Corps reports to the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Mumtaz prior to commencing training aboard Camp Blackhorse, Kabul, March 19. The CLB will deploy to Helmand province in April to provide general logistics support to the Afghan National Army.

Photo by 2nd Lt. Joshua Smith

Afghan Army to expand logistics capabilities

22 Mar 2011 | 2nd Lt. Joshua Smith 2nd Marine Logistics Group

The Afghan National Army will soon have more robust logistical capabilities in Southwestern Afghanistan. The Corps Logistics Battalion for the 215th Corps of the ANA is currently training in Kabul with the guidance and mentorship from Marines and sailors of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward).

“This is a critical step in enabling the ANA to conduct their own logistics operations,” said Capt. Patrick Ross, the Embedded Training Team officer in charge. “The Marines will serve as direct mentors to their Afghan counterparts, within their occupational specialty.”

Ross emphasized to his team the by-with-through method – absolutely everything must be done by the Afghans, with their understanding of the proper procedures and through their established chain of command. The expected end result is a more autonomous and capable Afghan logistics unit, which can operate effectively without coalition involvement.

The opportunity to work with and mentor Afghan soldiers also serves as a learning experience for coalition forces.

“This is an excellent opportunity for young Marines to share their knowledge and skills with the Afghan National Army,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Hitzhusen, the ETT staff noncommissioned officer in charge.

The 2nd MLG commanding general, Brig. Gen. Michael Dana, and sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. William Stables, also visited the ANA CLB and met with the Afghan battalion commander, Lt. Col. Mumtaz.

“We have great respect and admiration for U.S. Marines,” Mumtaz said through an interpreter. “Everything they do, they do it with passion. We very much look forward to working with them.”

Dana took the opportunity to speak to the Afghan CLB’s transportation platoon. “After nearly 30 years in the Marine Corps, I’m convinced that Afghans are some of the toughest and most resourceful people on the planet. We look forward to partnering with you in preparation for your upcoming mission in Helmand.”

The ANA CLB will deploy from Kabul to Helmand province next month, and will be the first logistics unit of its kind to operate independently in the area.