CAMP TAJI, Iraq - The 529th Support Battalion, Virginia Army National Guard, is deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq, as Task Force Cavalier, providing sustainment support in Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. A primary focus of the mission involves Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund (CTEF) operations ranging from shipping, receiving, storing, and divesting a variety of packages to Iraqi Army and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
CTEF is designed to provide a flexible and reliable source of funding, training, equipment, and operational support to strengthen Coalition partners and ISF capabilities to counter current, emergent, and future ISIS threats.
A CTEF divestment event occurred on June 2019 between Task Force Caviler and the 55th Brigade, 17th Division, Iraqi Army, completing an action initiated in April.
"The key to a smooth and successful divestment is planning and organization," said
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Briana Nisbet. "When I first entered into the position, there was a lot of trial and error."
Divestment event planning comprises a long list of tasks including reviewing divestment packets to ensure documentation and inventories match, ensuring all U.S. participants understand the full operational picture, conducting rehearsals, site reconnaissance, coordination with Advise and Assist Teams and convoy briefings.
The preparation is essential to maintaining a healthy and productive relationship with partners and allies.
It is a Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve effort, and maintaining interoperability with partner military forces helps provide the necessary integration to retain and increase professionalism, organization, credibility, trust, and communication.
"The ANZACs (Australian Army and New Zealand Army) are an excellent example of how both ... work well together," said Nisbet.
They serve as integrated security teams and they are comfortable with each other, she continued. The ANZACs are spot on and do their jobs which in return builds trust between partners.
Staff brigade commander Qais Sahim Jaber Abood Al 'Khafaji, 55th Brigade, 17th Division, Iraqi army, said he could not be more elated with the tremendous support and efforts of the United States Army and Coalition Forces.
"U.S./CF (United States Army and coalition forces) are helpful and supportive." said Al 'Khafaji "They continuously support us with effective and efficient processing, accelerated action and response and good communication. The divestments are vital to our mission; the equipment aids our training and is a big help."
The Iraqi Army relies on the supplies and equipment provided by the CTEF mission.
"The equipment is right on time to replace the old. Our current vehicles and equipment are run down and used up. Combat vehicles and tactical equipment are essential to our mission and ensuring soldiers are properly equipped," said Al 'Khafaji. "I plan to distribute vehicles and tactical equipment to ensure all Iraqi Soldier's equipment is replaced."
The CTEF mission continues to be a major function that allows United States Forces and Coalition Forces to work beside, with, and through Iraqi Forces ensuring they are fully supplied, trained, equipped, and funded to sustain security operations within their borders.