CAMP SHORABAK, Afghanistan --
The staff of 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) toured the Regional Logistics Support Command-Southwest and met with their Afghan National Army counterparts to discuss current and future challenges together, March 12.
The commanding general of 1st MLG (Fwd), Brig. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow, and his staff met with Colonel Karimi Mumtaz, commanding officer of RLSC-SW and the members of his command in a tour hosted by the RLSC-SW Advisor Team.
Regional Logistics Support Command-Southwest is the primary Afghan National Army logistics organization for the entire Southwestern region of Afghanistan. Much like 1st MLG (Fwd), RLSC-SW’s mission is to plan, prepare, and execute uninterrupted flow of logistics support to units assigned to Regional Command Southwest. RLSC-SW is composed of four companies: Distribution Co., Maintenance Co., Headquarters Co. and a Supply Co. or Forward Supply Depot Element.
Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow and his staff toured each of the four company areas. Afterward, they sat down for a meeting and a few cups of tea with Col. Mumtaz to discuss current and future obstacles.
As a relatively new command, RLSC-SW faces the same growing pains as any large organization. Mumtaz said that many members of the Afghan National Army are not familiar with this new logistics system and that he needs more officers to hold key billets and lead his troops to success.
Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow concurred, explaining that many of these challenges are shared by all military logistics organizations. “My understanding of the challenges you face, allows me to help you in any way I can,” he explained.
The primary form of help comes from the members of the RLSC-SW Advisor Team. Team members are attached to each of four companies in order to provide guidance and to share logistics lessons from their own careers in the US military. Working together, the Advisor Team and the soldiers from RLSC-SW have made great strides.
Staff Sgt. Michael Meeks, Distribution Advisor, RLSC-SW Advisor Team, explained some of the obstacles that the soldiers from Distribution Co. initially faced before the advisor team rendered assistance. “When we arrived, [Distribution Co.] only had 11 certified drivers which makes it very difficult to conduct a convoy safely,” said Meeks.
In response to the need for more drivers, the advisors first taught an operator’s certification course to increase the number of approved drivers. Then, they gave the responsibility of teaching the course to the Afghan non-commissioned officers.
“We showed them that now [Distribution Co.] can do it on their own, and that’s when they really took off,” said Meeks. With the help of the Advisor Team, Distribution Co. is now conducting one to three convoys a week, providing logistical support to their brothers in arms.
The progress is even more readily apparent in Maintenance Co., where at one time the Afghan mechanics were limited to repairing one vehicle at a time, explained 1st Lt. Wolf Powell, Maintenance Co. advisor, RLSC-SW Advisor Team. Now they have taken over a facility with three maintenance bays and have serviced over 30 vehicles for organizational and general level repairs.
Most importantly, the tour cemented a working relationship between the staff of 1st MLG (Fwd) and RLSC-SW.
Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow discussed the importance of this relationship with Col. Mumtaz. “I believe you have the most important billet in the ANA right now, and I hope we can develop a very close relationship in the future,” said Broadmeadow. “I will do whatever I can to help.”