Marines escort new kandak to Helmand Province

4 May 2011 | Sgt. Rachael K. A. Moore 2nd Marine Logistics Group

US forces are continuously working with Afghan National Security Forces to help them become an independent military.

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) traveled nearly 1,000 miles to ensure the newly-formed Logistics Kandak of the 215th Corps, Afghan National Army arrived safely to their new home, Camp Shorabak, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, April 14 through 27.

The Marines of CLB-8 drove from Camp Leatherneck to Camp Blackhorse, Kabul Province, Afghanistan, to link up with the kandak and then escorted them back.

“U.S. Forces traveled with the ANA, first and foremost, to provide additional security for the movement,” said 2nd Lt. Alex G. Jabbal, CLB-8 convoy commander. “Our intent was to ensure the kandak’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mumtaz, felt he was supported in his movement and set up for success in his operations going forward.”

Before departing Camp Blackhorse, the Marines sat down with the Afghan soldiers for a complete convoy planning process, as this was the first convoy the kandak executed.

“The Marines provided a mentoring unit to the kandak,” added Jabbal, a Plano, Texas, native. “We aided [them] during convoy operations [by] recovering vehicles and performing maintenance on the road.”

The convoy, which consisted of more than 100 vehicles and 600 personnel from ANA and U.S. forces, took six days to travel from Camp Blackhorse to Camp Shorabak. 

“We had to truly partner with ANA forces to accomplish this mission,” said Jabbal.  “Almost the entire length of the route was secured by local ANA and [Afghan National Police], including movement through various cities.”

Now that the kandak is at their new home, they will continue to train with Marines from the 2nd MLG (Fwd.) on logistical operations, convoys and vehicle maintenance.