By Pam ProperDecember 2, 2011
BASRAH, Iraq (Dec. 2, 2011) -- As U.S. forces leave Iraq, they are moving most of their equipment and assets out of the country, but they will hand off some of it to the Department of State to support the diplomatic and security cooperation missions.
The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade will provide maintenance support for all Army equipment transitioned to the Department of State and the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq.
The 402nd AFSB will have personnel at all State Department sites in Iraq, and will establish maintenance hubs in three: Basrah, Kirkuk and Taji. There will be about 180 contracted personnel and a handful of Department of the Army civilians who will remain in the country after the military departs.
Col. John S. Laskodi, commander of 402nd AFSB, said the brigade is taking on another huge challenge in supporting a mission like this.
"The Department of State is establishing its largest mission in its history," said Laskodi.
"The 402nd AFSB, as AMC's (Army Materiel Command's) forward presence in theater, will have several thousand personnel in Iraq to support the Department of State mission. We have great people who are committed to ensuring the mission is successful," Laskodi said.
The brigade's support falls primarily into two categories: the support under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, known as LOGCAP, which provides base life support and a myriad of other logistics functions and maintenance support to force protection equipment such as mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPs.
"Many people have the perception that the United States will have departed Iraq by the end of 2011," said Laskodi.
"While the combat mission performed by uniformed military presence will transition, the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade will continue to support our nation's objective of maintaining a stable, strategic partner in the Government of Iraq."