By Sharonda Pearson, 401st AFSB Public AffairsApril 9, 2013
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Less than one week after the new Kandahar Redistribution Property Assistance Team yard became operational, the Army Field Support Battalion-Kandahar, 401st Army Field Support Brigade, executed its first unit curtailment operation, facilitating Regional Command South's troop reduction in Afghanistan.
In a partnership with the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, the Kandahar Battalion, 401st AFSB was able to process and relieve Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, of 16 Stryker vehicles and associated equipment, in less than two hours.
This is one-third of the time it took during similar curtailment operations last year.
"This new facility truly is a one-stop-shop for Class VII retrograde," explained Lt. Col Stanley Sliwinski Jr., commander of the Kandahar Battalion, referring to the new Kandahar Airfield Redistribution Property Assistance Team, known as KAF RPAT, that opened March 22.
"Last summer during the 23,000 troop off ramp, we had to use three separate yards to process the various classes of supply," Sliwinski said. "Now with these new facilities, we, in partnership with the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, have the ability to relieve a convoy of up to 32 vehicles of all classes of supply at one time in one location. It's truly a one-stop-shop for the warfighter."
After more than six months of being deployed at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Soldiers from the 2-23 Inf Regt were thankful for the simplified process. The process of turning in multiple classes of equipment at one location is referred to as the "four corners process."
"I've been through the process three other times and this is the fastest (the unit) has every gone through the four corners process," said Sgt. Daniel Maret, who also experienced the four corners process during deployments in Iraq. "Generally we would have to do much of the process beforehand, prior to even coming into the four corners and turning in our equipment. Here we were able to unload everything on site and it was all set up in stations. So, that made the process a lot easier," he said.
1st Lt. Joseph Shane, the officer-in-harge, agrees that the KAF RPAT's four corners operation exceeded the unit's expectations.
"We were not sure what to expect when we arrived," Shane said. "The process was much more streamlined than we anticipated. Any questions we had prior to arriving were answered during the safety brief."
As part of the four corners operation, the 401st AFSBn-Kandahar engineers and contractor partners designed and built three lanes with eight clearly identified areas for Soldiers to turn in different classes of equipment. After the Strykers were parked, the commodities were unloaded and taken to their appropriate storage bin.
Sabrina Hill, the lead Wholesale Responsible Officer responsible for relieving units of equipment accountability, believes the new facility, coupled with the teamwork between the 4-401st AFSB Soldiers, civilians and contractors, are responsible for the successful mission.
"The four corners operation was a great success due to the knowledge and professionalism of each staff member here in the RPAT," Hill said. "They were on point with assisting the warfighter and getting them in and out in a timely manner. With occupying the new facility, we were able to maneuver all vehicles in and out without missing a beat. I must say the team pulled together to make the operation a success."