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Gift of Tools to Afghan National Army

(l-r) Lieutenant Colonel Barum, 4th Brigade 205 Hero Corps Facilities Engineer and Staff Sergeant Jason W Kelly from the Infantry Training and Advisory Team -Tarin Kot during the gifting of a shipping container of tools and equipment by Australian and United States forces.

Afghan National Army (ANA) garrison support in Uruzgan will benefit from tools and equipment gifted by Australian and United States forces.

Some of the supplies gifted in August were those used when basic trade training was provided for 23 Afghan members of the ANA’s 4th Brigade 205th Hero Corps soldiers in early 2013.

The students were taught skills in plumbing, electrical repairs and carpentry over a 16-week training course coordinated by the US Army Corps of Engineers Infrastructure Training Advisory Team (ITAT).

Major Shane Nicoll, Officer Commanding 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Group Security Force Assistance Advisory Team, said as International Security Assistance Force troops prepared to complete their mission in Uruzgan, a goal was to ensure Afghan National Security Forces had the foundations for a sustainable future.

“While the garrison engineers now have trade skills, they did not have the tools required to do fault-finding, repairs and maintenance on their equipment and buildings,” he said.

“The tools used for the US-led ITAT trade training were added to the tools supplied by the ADF.”

Major Nicoll said any equipment gifted to the ANA needed to be safe and maintainable.

“Although power tools, which won’t last forever, were part of the package, we included hand tools such as saws, crowbars and sledgehammers.”

Colonel Mohammed Akbar, Commander 4th Brigade Garrison Support Kandak, accepted the equipment on behalf of Colonel Mohammad Rasul Khan (Colonel Kandahari), Commander 4/205, and said it was greatly appreciated.

“These supplies will help our engineers address many of the repair and maintenance issues across the brigade,” he said.

“This is another small step forward for the ANA.”

Staff Sergeant Jason W Kelly, Regional Command (South) ITAT, said the Afghan students received training they would not have otherwise had and graduates were then employed by the ANA Facilities Engineer.

“With all the personnel who were trained it means the 4th Brigade is a lot more competent in maintaining their facilities which will mean less degradation to their equipment,” he said.

“I enjoyed training these guys, seeing the progress they made and how they were excited to get to work.”