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A medical vehicle belonging to soldiers with the Afghan National Army's 5th Kandak, 1st Brigade, 215th Corps, departs Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, Nov. 22. After nearly a year and a half spent training with Marine Embedded Partnering Teams, the logistics soldiers with 5/1/215 conducted their first independent operation.

Photo by Cpl. Daniel H. Woodall

Afghan National Army logistics unit begins independent operations

22 Nov 2010 | Cpl. Daniel Woodall

Members of the Afghan National Army’s 5th Kandak, 1st Brigade, 215th Corps conducted a 60-mile combat logistics patrol from Camp Leatherneck to Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, Nov. 22.

The ANA logistics battalion carried out the mission independent of their coalition partners with the Embedded Partnering Team, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). The Afghan soldiers provided their own security while transporting personnel, food and water to the 1st Brigade headquarters at Camp Dwyer.

In the summer of 2009, the Afghan National Amy formed the 5/1/215 in order to provide tactical logistics support to various ANA battalions throughout Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Since the unit’s formation, Marine Embedded Partnering Teams have been training, advising and mentoring the soldiers of 5/1/215 in order to help them conduct logistics operations independent of coalition forces. These operations include delivering provisions to various ANA units and transporting personnel to and from forward operating bases.

"We knew they had the ability to conduct this mission," said Gunnery Sgt. Leroy A. Forbes, operations chief, EPT, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), 32, a native of Hartford, Conn. "The end state to our mission is to get [5/1/215] to operate without out assistance – to put us out of a job. If we had accomplished nothing else while we’re here in Afghanistan, the fact that [on Nov. 22] we took them through being dependent on us to operating independently is a great feeling. [It feels great] to be a part of a team that took them to the next level."

Though the mission on Nov. 22 is considered general support, it is also important, said Capt. Victor Kamantauskas, 27, commanding officer, EPT, CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD).

"[The operation] demonstrates 5/1/215’s ability to conduct operations independently and it builds confidence in their own abilities," the Orange, Texas native said.

Conducting logistics patrols without coalition assistance is a big step forward for the approximately 330 soldiers with 5/1/215 as they plan for future operations. Despite the success of Nov. 22nd’s mission, the 20 Marines and sailors with CLB-3’s EPT will continue providing guidance, security and tactical support for 5/1/215.

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