FOB LIGHTNING, Afghanistan -- Three Soldiers from the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade headquarters are training the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (Army and Police) in an innovative way to conduct preventive maintenance on some of their vehicles.
Using the video recording capability from either a laptop computer or smart phone, these Soldiers ultimately end up with a finished video showing Afghans exactly what they need to do step-by-step. The beauty of this is that it can be shown over and over and to whomever needs it.
"I think it's a good training tool to give to our ANA counterparts," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Green, video team leader.
The other two Soldiers are Sgt. Orion Warner and Sgt. Roques Torres. All three are wheeled vehicle mechanics. They are all with the 1st SFAB's Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, working in a Combat Adviser Team.
The Soldiers are part of the Army's newest premier unit, 1st SFAB, deployed to Afghanistan in support of the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support. The unit is designed to train, advise, and assist other nation's militaries in need of specialized expertise based on a multitude of specialized experience that each member brings. In Afghanistan, 1st SFAB enables the Afghans from the battalion to Corps level.
The unit's home station is Fort Benning, Georgia.
Green said the actual idea came from Capt. Justin Shaw, a Combat Adviser Team leader with the 1st SFAB's 3rd Squadron. His team was the first to create a video to show the Afghans how to properly establish a traffic control point. Seeing how that video was made and the success of it, Green, with the help of several other Soldiers, then went ahead to make their own training video on vehicular maintenance.
Earlier this year, a box was found here in the Joint Operations Center with about 100 books for 10-level (operator level) vehicular maintenance with photos and caption instruction in a common Afghan language.
"I thought these were a great tool to hand out to our counterparts," said Green after learning of the books. "The majority we handed over to the different groups in the 203rd Corps." The corps, part of the Afghan National Army, is co-located at FOB Lightning, near Gardez, in southeastern Afghanistan.
Prior to the videos, there was only one-on-one instruction, Green said.
A few books were kept with the idea of producing preventive maintenance videos. Vehicle videos include those on Ford Rangers, Humvees, flatbed trucks, fuel and water trucks, and wreckers.
The videos are no more than five minutes in length and are produced by having one Soldier serve as cameraman, another announcing out loud describing the action of what's commonly called "PMCS" or preventive maintenance and checks and services, and another serving as the actor who does the actual vehicle inspection.
An Afghan linguist watches the taping because he will eventually be providing the voiceover in Dari, during the editing in post-production using a Panasonic Toughbook. These laptops were purchased for the 1st SFAB to be used for training because they are built to withstand drops, spills, extreme temperature, and rough handling.
Dari is a popularly spoken Afghan language with the Afghan personnel co-located with NATO coalition personnel at FOB Lightning.
The video is then dubbed onto compact discs and given out.
"We gave them out to the motor sergeant," Green said. "He said they appreciated it."
The Soldiers also produced longer videos, going about 10 minutes, on weapons such as the M-16A2 rifle, M240B machine gun, and M2A1 50-cal. machine gun on disassembling, re-assembling, and conducting a functions check.