By Summer BarkleyOctober 20, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--One of the first things you notice about Camp Pratt is the dust - everywhere. It hangs in the air and covers every exposed surface as the result of unpaved roads, ongoing construction and site preparation. The locals call it 'moon dust' but whatever you call it, the fine powdery dust is one of the obstacles the slightly more than 200 personnel who work for Logistics Task Force North overcome to meet mission on a daily basis.
Camp John Pratt is one of the newest 401st Army Field Support Brigade's locations, built recently to accommodate the personnel, equipment and missions previously located at Deh Dadi II which opened and closed in less than a year. That meant moving hundreds of pieces of equipment and people to the new headquarters of Logistics Task Force North while continuing to meet their retrograde of non-mission essential equipment and sustainment support for the Warfighter missions. The move strategically places the 401st Redistribution Property Assistance Team in position to leverage transportation assets in the area.
Col. Mark A. Paget, 401st AFSB commander, made his first visit to Camp Pratt and LTF North October 11 and 12. He and Command Sgt. Maj. Charlie G. Chavez, 401st ASFB command sergeant major, met a team of dedicated professionals including Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors who are determined to overcome all obstacles to provide sustainment and retrograde support in their area of operations.
"RC North [Regional Command North] is becoming very aware of what we bring to the Warfighter," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Carlos Hernandez, Logistics Support Team North chief. "They are especially aware of the LAR [Logistics Assistance Representative] support to the Warfighter."
"It's a team effort," said Lt. Col. Theodore E. Lockwood, II, LTF North officer in charge.
The teamwork continues into the living, dining and work areas. Most people live within a few hundred feet of where they work.
Work in the Redistribution Property Assistance Team yard continues as long as the light holds out for jobs being completed outside. As the sun set on the evening of Paget's visit to the yard, the team was still sorting non-rolling stock equipment and washing vehicles on a concrete pad with a portable power washer. As she escorted the commander around the RPAT yard, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tia Grier, RPAT officer-in-charge, answered questions and pointed out pieces of equipment of interest to the command team.
"Standards across RPAT yards should be the same," said Paget referring to wash racks, work spaces
Paget had an opportunity to meet several LARS at the LST North, the Theater Aviation Support Maintenance Group and retro-sort yard.
"We do a lot of 'over the shoulder' work with the Soldiers," said John J. Pyrtle, CECOM Avionics LAR.
Paget visited the Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group where he saw field level maintenance being completed on helicopter blades. The 1109th DET 4 TASMG is under the administrative control of the 401st AFSB.
Finally stopping at the Camp John Pratt retro-sort yard Paget saw CECOM IT Radio LAR Jonathan W. Rittenhouse working with Sgt. Daniel E. Horn, 427th Brigade Support Battalion operations sergeant, to sort through equipment that had been turned in by units. Useable equipment will be returned to inventory for issue to meet other requirements.
The LTF North team epitomizes the 401st AFSB motto 'First to Make a Difference' as they support the Warfighter in their area of operations.