MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan. (September 9, 2012)For Soldiers at an entry control point at Camp Marmal, it is very important to getAfghan drivers escorted onto the base as soon as possible.Not only do the Afghans transport vital military cargo from location to location, butthey must meet mission deadlines as well.If a driver is not escorted on to the base within 72 hours of their arrival, the U.S.government must pay them an additional $140 in demurrage costs.Imagine how much money is wasted if hundreds of drivers cannot get their cargoto the proper destination.If the cargo doesn't get on base, everyone from the driver to the Soldiers suffer,so for the Louisiana reservists there is no time to waste.The 540th Movement Control Detachment processes paperwork for Afghandrivers at Camp Marmal."Our unit is not only responsible for making sure the drivers link up with thecarrier, but we also have to make sure they get a memo to get paid," said Sgt.Jamion J. Anderson, a national afghan trucking coordinator with the 540th MCT."We have usually dealt with over 100 cases a month where drivers are missingpaperwork and can't get paid."The Soldiers must act as the middleman, making sure both the driver andcarriers communicate to ensure the readiness of future convoy operations."Even a mistake in paper work can delay a truck getting on base, which canaffect everyone on base from the Post Exchange to the dining facilities,"Anderson said. "We don't want any mistakes on our end causing a missed meal."Not only do Soldiers on the base rely on the cargo that is on the back of thetruck, but the Afghan drivers depend on the cargo being delivered in order to getpaid.Staff Sgt. Anthony J. Hayner, an entry control point non-commissioned officerwith the 540th MCT, said it's funny how communication isn't the problem betweenthe Soldiers and Afghans, but it's tracking down the carrier who has to pick upthe load that's the hard part."Our interpreters taught us phrases that help us do our job, but hunting down thecarriers is the hardest part because most of the time we'll have phone numbersthat don't work," Hayner said. "Even if we're trying to provide the best customerservice to the drivers, they know the universal sign language for 'pay me.'"The Soldiers understand the hardships drivers may have to endure, which is whythe government compensates them. Hayner said drivers have shared stories ofpaying off Taliban fighters at make-shift check points in order to get to the base.Once a driver arrives, they have to spend additional money on food whilethey wait for an escort, which can sometimes take more than three days."Doing this job has given me a new perspective on the war because I'm startingto see that most of these drivers aren't combatants," Hayner said. "We try tomake the drivers feel comfortable enough to come back and do more convoys forus, which is a part of the counter insurgency doctrine."As surrounding forward operating bases start to shut down due to U.S. Forcespulling out, there are still Soldiers out in the field who depend on convoys to getvaluable supplies."Our mission is to help sustain the war fighter and cargo can't make it from campto camp if we don't do our jobs," Anderson said. "Anything we can do to makesure that the drivers don't lose money and the government doesn't spend moremoney, we're going to do."