By Captain Kyle Lamberth USAF, Kyle PerkinsJune 5, 2018
Jim, Big Jim, James, Jimbo, or Mr. Barber, he is known by many names but when the junior officers of the Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Security Assistance Office (SAO) have questions about ammunition they know where to go.
Mr. Barber is assigned as the Joint Munitions Command's (JMC) Liaison Officer to CSTC-A SAO, Camp RS in Kabul, Afghanistan. As the JMC LNO, Mr. Barber accounts for all ammunition related materials and processes while developing courses of action to prevent backlogs and improve in-country ammunition accountability for this critical, no fail commodity. He coordinates with multiple U.S. government agencies, Afghanistan Program Managers and Ministries to support the warfighter and provide gap analysis for critical items that are vital to ensuring the lethality and fighting capability of the Afghan National Defense Security Forces.
Having served more than 30 years as a government civilian, Jim's greatest sense of accomplishment comes from assisting and mentoring the young company grade officers who rotate in and out of the CSTC-A SAO Office. Many CGOs liken Jim to a lighthouse, one that helps them navigate the tumultuous Foreign Military Sales process and leads them away from fiscal law's rocky shoals.
He is a linchpin crucial to the success of the SAO organization due to his willingness to share his vast institutional knowledge and expertise with any member of the SAO team. Not only is Jim a mentor, he is also a source of inspiration and motivation. Despite being a senior member of the SAO team, Jim strapped 22 pounds on his back and participated in a camp wide sixteen mile ruck march in a valiant effort to promote morale and comradery. It doesn't matter if you approach him in the office or on one of his signature afternoon walks, Jim's that fatherly figure you can identify by his booming laugh and is always available to share his professional opinion, insight or address any of life's many questions.