Task Force Resolute provides Humanitarian Assistance in Afghanistan
June 7, 2011
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan " The coalition forces mission in Afghanistan is often an uphill battle. Kinetic Warfare is only one of the many challenges that hinder the goal of leaving Afghans with a secure and stable environment. Drought, earthquakes and floods, nature's obstacles, have an added impact on the local population's already austere way of life.
The KAF Humanitarian Assistance yard is one way coalition forces are able to fight the effects of natural disasters. The yard supplies emergency goods for crisis situations.
The mission for the yard started in 2009, supporting all areas under Regional Command South, West and Southwest. The yard is supplied with food, medical and school supplies, clothing and other provisions that are used as HA for local nationals who are experiencing crisis, or emergency situations.
"If there is a natural disaster we are able to support the commander in the field by providing HA," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Breaux, the HA project purchasing officer.
Task Force Resolute is responsible for using the Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds to purchase the goods the HA yard distributes.
For example, during the floods that hit northeastern Afghanistan and Pakistan last year, it was the KAF HA yard that played an important role in the recovery process.
"We helped restock Bagram Airfield during the floods," said Breaux. "One hundred and fifty tents and countless amounts of food were sent to assist the local population. Rice, beans, sugar, flour and tea were among the food items transported to Bagram Airfield."
Breaux added, "The rainy season is a difficult period for the local population. In response to the past season more than 42 tons of emergency supplies were sent to areas in need of assistance."
Last year the HA yard supported 31 CERP missions with that number already being met this year resulting in more than 282 tons of HA supplies being provided to the local population.
Coalition forces and Afghan local laborers work together in the yard sharing the goal of helping people in need.
"The yard's presence here has provided jobs and opportunities for the locals," said Breaux. "Afghanis who work here help operate the HA yard, they work side by side with Soldiers. All supplies stored here were purchased through local vendors."
When the yard isn't supplying families in need, it is used to store donations from international agencies. Items donated from American organizations like Operation International Child and Operation Give are inventoried and stored for not only U.S. and coalition forces but Afghani locals as well.
"Items like books, flip-flops, and popcorn from the Boy Scouts of America are all donated to us," said Master Sgt. Purvis Gray, Joint Sustainment Command Afghanistan and the Noncommissioned Officer In Charge of the HA yard. "Donations used for the local community are sandals, skill kits, hygiene kits, toys, newborn kits, shoes, clothes, and medical supplies."
More than 80 organizations have donated to the HA yard and the immediate response provided by these donations is a cornerstone of the coalition's strength.
"It might take weeks or months to build a road, school, or power plant but our contribution with emergency assistance is here and ready to go," said Breaux.