While I was deployed to Afghanistan in support
of Operation Enduring Freedom, I was given
a unique opportunity to participate in the
mentorship mission of the 728th Military Police Battalion,
Task Force Warfighter, partnered with the Zone
202 Shamshad Regional Police Headquarters (RHQ).
I label this opportunity “unique” because of my junior
grade as a warrant officer and my duties, which, at first
glance, seemed outside the typical responsibilities of a
battalion property book officer (PBO).
I arrived in theater as a warrant officer 1 and sought
the guidance of senior logisticians on how to proceed
as a mentor. I soon learned that the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) Training Mission–Afghanistan
(NTM–A) had devoted years and extensive resources
to developing the Afghan logistics system and its
capabilities. My primary function would be to enforce
Afghan-approved logistics doctrine and procedures.
Many rotations before ours had trained, advised, and
mentored the Afghan Uniform Police (AUP), and many
more will continue to do so. My particular position,
serving as the mentor to the Zone 202 RHQ PBO, was
exceptional because it was the first time anyone in that
position had been partnered with his own mentor. The
assignment of a mentor is considered a great honor in
the AUP, as it is throughout the Afghan National Security
Forces (ANSF). The partnership with my Afghan counterpart served as a good foundation for our future
|Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) personnel attend the first Zone 202 AUP Logistics Conference at the Zone 202
Regional Police Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Zone 202 is responsible for 8 Regional Command
East provinces, which include a population of more
than 8 million. Our zone had 18,000 AUP officers and
84 districts and was responsible for more than 26,000
pieces of equipment.
The progress of the NTM–A, operating in conjunction
with Combined Security Transition Command–Afghanistan
(CSTC–A) and the mentors who came before
us, was immediately evident through the established
Ministry of Interior (MoI) operating procedures that
my AUP PBO counterpart was using. Although these
processes seemed primitive by our standards (primarily
because of the lack of automation), a property accountability
system had been established nonetheless.
Ledgers were kept and filed in large books and binders
in numerical order based on the stock number. Two
forms were used for property book accounting. MoI
Afghan National Police (ANP) Form 3328 was referred
to as “the property book page.” The other was the
MoI ANP Form 3328–1, or “the serial number page.” Equipment authorizations came from the Tashkil, an
authorization letter similar to our modified table of
organization and equipment (MTOE).
The Zone 202 PBO was responsible for maintaining
property book records of 8 provincial headquarters
(PHQs) and the 84 district headquarters (DHQs) in its
area of responsibility. Tashkil shortages were requisitioned
from the MoI using the MoI Form 14, Request
for Issue and Turn-in. Shortages resulting from consumption
were required to have a consumption report
attached, along with a copy of the Tashkil authorization,
according to MoI policy.
|A Zone 202 AUP logistics mentor
inventories the Nuristan Government
Center provincial headquarters’ ammunition reserves.
It was not long before the unique challenges of the
AUP logistics system became evident. Synchronizing
logistics initiatives in training and policy execution
quickly became the priority because the apparent
breakdown in this area was affecting the accuracy and
reliability of property book records. MoI Form 14s
were hard to track, and the PBO had no established
means to follow the progress of these requisitions.
The PHQs rarely submitted consumption reports,
which caused their requisitions to be rejected. PHQs
often went around the system, going directly to the
MoI. In these instances, receipt documents (MoI Form
9, Materiel Issue Order) were never submitted to the
RHQ, leaving the PBO unable to maintain proper
accountability. Until a fully visible and accessible
web-based system is available to all, it is necessary
to emphasize the requirement for a paper trail that is
routed back down through the RHQ to the PHQ.
Supply clerks at several DHQs were untrained and
unable to provide or maintain accurate property book
records. The low literacy rate of AUP workers in supply
jobs at the subordinate echelons presented a significant
challenge to training efforts. The RHQ logistics
directorate appeared to be not very forward thinking.
Some of this may have been cultural misinterpretation,
but the frequent emergency resupply missions were evidence
of negligence. The practices of stockpiling and
hoarding equipment at PHQ depots were common, and
cross-leveling efforts were met with some resistance.
A key factor in improving accountability was the coalition
mentors’ role in advising their AUP counterparts
at the PHQs, DHQs, and MoI. Our contributions to this
effort included an MoI Form 14 tracker and a monthly
logistics conference. The MoI Form 14 tracker, which
was designed to correspond with MoI Form 3, Register
of Supply Actions, and MoI Form 4, Document Control
Register, offered visibility to coalition mentors at all
Afghan logisticians and their coalition mentors were
invited to attend monthly logistics conferences held at
the RHQ. The conference was not only a forum to hold
PHQs accountable for dueouts; it was also an excellent
opportunity to conduct logistics training and allow the
RHQ to address all PHQs simultaneously. Both were
excellent tools in our efforts to streamline accountability,
promote routine inventory, and emphasize proper
documentation of incoming and outgoing supplies and correspondence.
|Two Zone 202 AUP logistics mentors
conduct a joint weapons inventory
of the Shamshad depot.
The team checked the weapons
for property accountability
and recorded serial numbers.
Evaluation criteria used to determine the readiness of
an ANSF element to become “independent” is relatively
subjective in all areas except for equipment. For
this reason, it is particularly important that PHQs and
DHQs were filled according to Tashkil authorization as
much as possible.
Once reliable quantities were reported to the RHQ,
the next logical step was to redistribute excess within
the RHQ. Cross-leveling is conducted through a cipher
(an official order). As is often the case in the U.S. military,
the AUP rarely executes anything without a direct
official order. A direct official order also holds personnel
accountable, and the employment of coalition
mentors at PHQ or DHQ to facilitate implementation in
their area of operations can assist in its effectiveness.
Transparency is a key element of property accountability.
This philosophy is true across the logistics
realm. By cooperating with our Afghan counterparts,
we developed an AUP logistics status worksheet that
monitored the consumption of classes I (subsistence),
II (clothing and individual equipment),
III (petroleum, oils, and lubricants),
V (ammunition), and VII (major end
items) to minimize emergency resupply
and encourage forward planning
within the RHQ.
In an attempt to overcome the challenge
of training a force with low
literacy rates, our battalion maintenance
officer, in conjunction with his
Afghan counterpart, developed an AUP
publication modeled after the U.S.
Army’s PS magazine. In the spirit of
the original, the AUP version of PS
magazine also includes supply management contributions.
The magazine could potentially be an effective
tool in overcoming literacy barriers to logistics training
until large-scale literacy training initiatives come to
It was truly a privilege to be part of the Task Force
Warfighter team and to partner with the AUP. I am
confident that our contributions have promoted positive
change not only in RHQ but throughout the AUP and
NTM–A. The mission to train AUP personnel and develop
sustainment operations began before we arrived
in Kabul and will continue as future rotations pick up
the baton and keep running.
I hope that the information included in this article
will empower other junior warrant officers who find
themselves on unfamiliar terrain by shortening some
of the learning curve. I also wish to foster continued
cooperation and information sharing of all coalition
mentors across the Afghan theater and Army sustainment
Change in Afghanistan is a marathon, not a sprint.
Each year, Soldiers carry on the work of those who
came before them, adapting and refining methods to
stay abreast of the situation on the ground. Familiarity
with past and present issues and fulfilled goals will
ensure unobstructed progress. As the AUP continues
to develop, I trust that passing on my experience will
serve to assist other mentors.