October 4, 2013
KABUL, Afghanistan - Task Force Razorback, a two member task force charged with the management of a unique Central Issue Facility (CIF) to supply coalition forces with basic combat equipment in support of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command.
This operation out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Phoenix is not the typical CIF that you normally see. It supplies coalition counterparts with gear, like personal protective equipment.
"A normal CIF at home is issuing out to us (soldiers), said Sgt. 1st Class Clifford O'neal, Task Force Razorback's noncommissioned officer in charge. "Task Force Razorback is actually issuing out to all our coalition partners that's helping us in the Afghanistan mission."
Prior to the Afghanistan drawdown the CIF operation was manned by a 17 person crew. With the restricted number of personnel the task of operating a CIF can have its challenges. The two-man team has risen to the challenge and adapted to the new personnel requirements.
"It can be straining at times depending on the size of the order we get," expressed O'neal. "We can get between nine orders and we can take care of that in as simple as 10 minutes."
He continued to explain there are cases where they receive orders for 1,300 pieces of equipment. In these cases it can take much longer to complete the requests.
"Although it's difficult we still manage to complete our missions daily," stated Capt. Phat Sanh, Task Force Razorback's officer in charge and a native of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The CIFs warehouse lot contains a long row of metal 20-foot shipping containers that are neatly organized with equipment. The equipment is set by types and sizes, which saves time and makes it easier for customers to locate the items they have requested.
There are 54 customers, both civilians and military members, who represent the Coalition Forces such as the Mongolians, Jordanians, Romanians and other countries.
O'neal, a native of Milledgeville, Ga., explained, "What they do is they come down here and they put in an order for their forces and actually come here and issue out the equipment that they're asking for per hand receipt."
Customers arrive daily to pick up equipment for their personnel.
"We make sure that they have the assets that we have as U.S. Soldiers, stated Staff Sgt. Antoinette L. Bivins, a customer and logistician with U.S. Mission Support Element and III Corps from Fort Hood, Texas.
"We're all out here doing the same mission, so we should all be living to the same standard."
Task Force Razorback prides itself with having the opportunity to work with and support the coalition forces. O'neal touted that the CIF mission strengthens not only the relationship between forces but also ensures the success of the mission in Afghanistan.