01 June 2010

Two-man "advance team" on a mission

Spcs. Joseph Wagner (left), contracting officer representative assistant, and Daniel Booles, contracting officer representative, are attached to the Regional Support Team-North at Camp Mike Spann, and are responsible for overseeing mission-essential construction endeavors at combat outposts across northern Afghanistan that support the Afghan National Security Forces in their efforts to defeat the insurgents and secure the population.

Awesome story about two young guys who regularly get dropped off in the middle of nowhere for weeks at a time to coordinate construction of new Afghan and coalition army outposts.

Living at a remote Afghan national army outpost in northern Afghanistan, two U.S. Army soldiers operate autonomously to ensure construction projects for ANA and coalition soldiers are completed correctly and on time.

Contracts to build and expand ANA combat outposts are regularly monitored by COR team members to ensure that supplies used to sustain forces are received and correct construction materials are delivered on time. The pair serves as the RST's eyes and ears on the ground, a critical task that comes fully equipped with its fair share of unique obstacles and challenges.

"Being dropped off at a Forward Operating Base without a vehicle, interpreter, and limited supplies definitely made our mission a challenge," said Spc. Daniel Booles, a Fort Worth, Texas, native assigned to the 10th Mountain 1st Brigade 2-22 Infantry Delta Company from Fort Drum, N.Y. "Making sure equipment and supplies made it to the right locations by the contractors was an interesting experience."

Ensuring the timely delivery of materials by local contractors sometimes requires eliciting the assistance of international partners in the region while they dually work to organize logistical support from other U.S. units operating in the area.

"We had to coordinate with the Germans as well as the ANA to ensure delivery to Bashir Khan," said Spc. Joseph Wagner, a Crittenden, Ky., native also assigned to 10th Mountain 1st Brigade 2-22 Infantry Delta Company from Fort Drum, N.Y. "I'm glad we were able to get everything done and I am ready for the next mission."

Despite the remote location and austere conditions, the modest pair managed to ensure the completion of the combat outpost at Puza-i-esan, a critical project that directly contributed to bringing stability to an area that once served as a safe haven for insurgents.

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