FORWARD OPERATING BASE RAMROD, Afghanistan -- For the past two months, Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), nicknamed Leader Rakkasans, have partnered with the Afghan National Army (ANA) in order to supply troops fighting Taliban in the Horn of Panjwa'i, an area southwest of the Arghandab River.

As partners, the ANA and Rakkasans can better provide for those fighting on the frontlines, said Staff Sgt. Mario Tenario, Company A, 1st Bn., 187th Inf. Regt. supply noncommissioned officer in charge.

"The Afghans are actually a big help to us," said Tenario. "They can get us a lot of stuff that would take us a long time to get through our own channels."

The partnership allows for growth on both sides, said ANA Capt. Shamsulrahman Shams, 2nd Kandak (Battalion), 1st Brigade, 111th Division logistics officer. The ANA provide soldiers and supplies, and the Rakkasans provide the equipment and training needed to get the supplies out to the field.

It can be a challenge to get Soldiers what they need since their areas of operation are sometimes in remote locations, said Tenario. Many times it takes cooperation from both forces to make the mission happen.

"We work together to face any problem," said Shams. "The U.S. Army is with us and we are with them, so any problem we have is already solved."

Tenario said that the ANA in Panjwa'i are some of the most professional and hard working he has seen. They're very proactive and always willing to learn.

"We've worked into the early hours of the morning and I never seen them complain," he said. "It's been good."

Over the two months he spent with the 111th Div., Tenario said he's seen them take progressive steps forward. They've taken every opportunity they can to learn from the U.S. forces. They've gone from building boxes to helping get full shipments of supplies out to the Soldiers.

"We've learned a lot from each other," said Tenario. "We come from different cultures and we have different ways of doing things, but we're both wishing for the same thing. When you have something like that, the result can only be positive."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16