• PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Heath Kennedy forward support company advisor for the Engineer Khandak, 203rd Corp, with Security Advise and Assist Team 4, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), talks to an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, about how to fill out Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services paper work, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Heath Kennedy forward support company advisor for the Engineer Khandak, 203rd Corp, with Security Advise and Assist Team 4, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), talks to an...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, checks the cables and lines in the engine compartment of a bulldozer, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, checks the cables and lines in the engine compartment of a bulldozer, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher James, a heavy construction equipment repairer with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, shows an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, how to open a compartment on a bulldozer, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher James, a heavy construction equipment repairer with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, shows an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " While underneath a wrecker, two Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, perform Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking for any leaks or deficiencies, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " While underneath a wrecker, two Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, perform Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking for any leaks or deficiencies, at Forward Operating Base...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, checks the cables and lines in the engine compartment of a bulldozer, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, checks the cables and lines in the engine compartment of a bulldozer, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dip-stick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dip-stick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Spc. Lucas Papesh, a Soldier with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, supervises as an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dip-stick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Spc. Lucas Papesh, a Soldier with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, supervises as an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dip-stick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dip-stick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dipstick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " An Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dipstick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Spc. Lucas Papesh, a Soldier with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, supervises as an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services by checking the oil level on the dip-stick of a fuel truck, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Spc. Lucas Papesh, a Soldier with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, supervises as an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, performs Preventative Maintenance...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Heath Kennedy forward support company advisor for the Engineer Khandak, 203rd Corp, with Security Advise and Assist Team 4, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), observes an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, while he checks the instruments of a fuel truck at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Heath Kennedy forward support company advisor for the Engineer Khandak, 203rd Corp, with Security Advise and Assist Team 4, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), observes an...

  • PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " A U.S. Army Soldier with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, observes as an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, starts a bulldozer, at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

    SFAAT 4 supports ANA vehicle maintainance

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " A U.S. Army Soldier with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, observes as an Afghan National Army soldier with the 203rd Engineer Khandak, starts a bulldozer, at Forward Operating Base Thunder...

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Heath Kennedy, forward support company advisor with Security Advise and Assist Team 4, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), along with the help of Soldiers with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, assisted the Afghan National Army's 203rd Engineer Khandak with the maintenance of military trucks as well as construction vehicles at Forward Operating Base Thunder, Afghanistan, Oct. 6.

"The ANA had a bunch of equipment come back from a mission in Chamkani, where they were putting up Hescos (barriers) and guard towers." said Staff Sgt. Christopher James, a heavy construction equipment repairer with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, and native of Rice, Minn. "With the equipment they brought back, we took the ANA mechanics through it all and supervised while they performed Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services on it."

The use of PMCS will assist them in keeping their vehicles mission capable and also help them recover from their mission by showing deficincies that need to be resolved.

"They are recovering from their missions, trying to get their maintenance under control," said Kennedy, a native of Lincoln, Neb. "Since a lot of their equipment is brand new, it is taking a little time getting (replacement) parts in their supply system."

Getting their supply system up and running is an obstacle that any new unit faces.

"This unit is brand new, they started when we got here in May," James said. "They are eager to learn, very eager to learn. When I had them as students they always asked questions, they were always involved with the training."

Spending the majority of a deployment training, developing and then seeing them employ what they have learned brings about a sense of accomplishment.

"We've been working with them for about five months now and they are implementing everything that they're learning," said Spc. Lucas Papesh, a Soldier with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, Minnesota National Guard, and native of Carlton, Minn. "For the majority of them, we started from scratch by teaching them basic stuff that they know pretty well now."

"For as new as this battalion is, they are doing quite well," Kennedy expressed. "It's just taking time and as time goes on these guys will (continue to) receive the training they need to accomplish their mission."

Which is what the SFAAT mission is all about, getting the ANA to a point of self-sustainability.

Page last updated Sun October 13th, 2013 at 00:00