PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (July 16, 2012) -- The end of combat in Afghanistan is in sight for many Soldiers in Paktika Province. They will return home with stories and memories of time spent with comrades in a deployed environment. After nearly 12 years of conflict in Afghanistan, the supplies and materials that remain in theatre have their own story to tell.

On June 28, Soldiers from 701st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, along with British army Brig. Felix Gedney, Combined Joint Task Force-1's deputy commanding general for transition, went through the gates of the newly opened 701st retrograde yard on Forward Operating Base Sharana. The yard receives materials and supplies from units throughout the area of operations in an effort to reduce excess in the battle space and support the needs of the warfighter.

Since the opening of the retrograde yard, the 701st BSB team, also known as the "Diligent" Battalion, has been hard at work with the help of the Mobile Retrograde Team, which is part of 1462nd Transportation Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade.

Vehicle parts, office supplies, construction materials and medical supplies are included in the surplus of materials that arrive at the yard for turn-in. Items are then redistributed to fill operational needs in Paktika Province, or sent to the Bagram Airfield Retrosort Yard for utilization in other parts of Afghanistan. Since its opening, the yard has already redistributed more than $909,000 worth of supplies back to the Army, and has more than $332,000 worth of materials processed and ready for redistribution.

With the start of redeployment, this task of receiving, sorting and packaging supplies and materials that are spread out across Task Force 4-1's area of operations is an integral part of supporting the units still in the fight and cost-effectively reducing the decade's' worth of U.S. Army equipment still in theater.