TARIN KOWT, Afghanistan - Regardless of what a unit's mission may be, the need of water, fuel, food and equipment are essential to the success of the mission's outcome.
In order to assist the Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division provide security for the base and for the advisory missions conducted by Soldiers of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joey Quinata and his Soldiers have taken the responsibility to provide those sustainment resources.
Quinata and his team of 20 Soldiers, originally assigned to Company J, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 2IBCT, make up the bases Forward Logistics Element.
"As the FLE for the camp we have five main operations that we have to deal with on a daily basis: fuel, water purification, dining facility operations, supply support activity operations and maintenance," said Quinata, noncommissioned officer in charge of the element
Quinata, who has 18 years of service in the Army, said he is proud of all the work his Soldiers have put forth to help build the base up.
"My Soldiers and I have been here since day one when there was really nothing on this base," he said. "They established and ran the [Tactical Water Purification System] to run clean water throughout the camp, they set-up the [Mobile Kitchen Trailer] to feed the Soldiers, set up fueling points for the aircrafts that come through, my Soldiers are dedicated and motivated to accomplish their mission."
The resources that Quinata and his Soldiers provide to the camp do not go unnoticed, according to U.S. Army Capt. Joshua Kellbach, commander of Company B, 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Reg.
"There are so many things that we take for granted sometimes and don't even realize that there are Soldiers who make it happen," said Kellbach. "It's because of our sustainer Soldiers that we are able to have all these resources, there are so many things out here that logistically we would struggle without but we have a great and they do an excellent job."
Quinata said this is great learning experience for his Soldiers and it will help them understand how important sustainment operations are to the overall mission.
"Expeditionary deployments are becoming a norm and this experience will help these Soldiers understand how important it is to be experts in their fields and the importance of team work," he said. "I think it also gives them a sense of pride to know that they are the reason the base is operating, their hard work is paying off."
Kellbach added that the importance of teamwork extends between the sustainers and his Soldiers to ensure the base is operational.
"If we don't have positive relationship with the FLE Soldiers and we don't take care of them, they won't want to take care of us," said Kellbach. "My Soldiers appreciate what they do here and it's important for all of us to work as a team and Family."