4-401st AFSB Kandahar mobile RPAT uses PAKGLOC to execute first fort-to-door mission
May 23, 2013
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan-- In a joint effort between the 4th Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Brigade and the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, the Kandahar Mobile Redistribution Property Assistant Team executed its first fort-to door operation via the recently reopened Pakistan Ground Lines of Communication on May 21.
Typically a 4-401st AFSB MRPAT travels to outlying Forward Operating Bases to facilitate the turn in of all excess Class VII Early Retrograde Equipment , Theater Provided Equipment , and Automatic RESET Induction equipment as far forward as possible to improve property accountability, then have the equipment transported to Kandahar in preparation for shipment CONUS.
However, this time due to the proximity of the Pakistan border to Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Lt. Col. Stanley Sliwinski, the 4-401st AFSB battalion commander arranged for select pieces of equipment to be transported directly to the port of Karachi.
"I visited Spin Boldak in January with Brig. Gen. Pat White, 3rd Infantry Division, Deputy Commanding General -- Support and saw firsthand the proximity of the base to the Pakistan border. I knew this would be a great location to attempt to retrograde directly to the port of Karachi, but at the time, the PAKGLOC was not open for unit redeployment equipment," Sliwinski said.
"Once the PAKGLOC opened for redeployment equipment in March 2014, we began planning with 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to make this mission a reality. There were several bumps in the road, but I knew we could make it work and I am proud of all of our team to make the mission an overwhelming success," Sliwinski added.
Sgt. 1st Class Lesa Dash, the 4-401st AFSB non-commissioned officer in charge who traveled to Spin Boldak to oversee the ammunition abatement process, believes the fort-to-door operation not only streamlined the retrograde process but also increased Soldier safety by minimizing ground travel.
"Being able to come to the unit and execute the retrograde made the process quicker and more streamlined because the vehicles are being picked up by the carrier as soon as the vehicles are ready for transport. At Kandahar the wait could take up to 40 days before they are transported to the CONUS" Dash said.
"It also keeps the Soldiers off the road, so it's safer than them having to convoy to Kandahar to turn in their equipment," she added. "Overall our first fort-to-door mission went well and will only get better with time as we execute more of these missions," said Dash.
Anibal Soto-Rivera, the Mobile RPAT officer in charge and primary hand receipt holder from the 4-401st AFSB who responsible for relieving the 2nd Battalion, 23 Infantry Regiment of property accountability on the retail side for lateral transfer or turn in, agrees that minimizing safety risks of Soldier's by traveling to them is a significant benefit of the Mobile RPAT.
"Keeping the Warfighter off the roads by taking the capabilities of the MRPAT to them allows us to keep them out of harm's way to the best of our ability," he said.
1st Lt. Travis Sorenson believes the fort-to-door mobile RPAT will be a benefit to the 2-23 Soldiers and the incoming unit.
"We opted to use this service because we are in the process of resizing the amount of equipment the unit has to meet the needs of the incoming unit," he said. "The unit replacing us is not a Stryker heavy unit. Being able to turn our Stryker's and other excess equipment without traveling to Kandahar made our redeployment process easier but also helped us make sure that the incoming unit is set up for success with the correct amount and type of equipment to support their operations," Sorenson said.