Logistics Training Team Shares Knowledge With Iraqi Army

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq – History shows that for…

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq – History shows that for a military to fight, thrive and win sustained engagements, a reliable and efficient supply system is a necessity.

In Numaniyah, a team of 589th Brigade Support Battalion Soldiers are helping Soldiers of the 8th Iraqi Army Division work out kinks in their supply system.

“Our main goal is to make sure that the Iraqi army can sustain themselves without help from the U.S. or other countries and keep them supplied and running efficiently,” Chief Warrant Officer Ronnie Fankauser, 287th Sustainment Bde.

The logistics training and advisory team made up of Soldiers from the 542nd Maintenance Co., 44th Combat Support Bn. and the 287th Sustainment Bde. is coaching the IA Soldiers on how to use the hybrid supply system available to them.

“As of right now, the 8th IA Div. has a hierarchal supply chain. Everything is run by officers, goes through a chain of command, and no one goes beyond their boss,” said Sgt. Bennett Tracey, a 542nd Maintenance Company, 44th Corps Support Bn., supply sergeant. “Their computer system is a mixture of our new system, the standard Army retail supply system and two of our older systems: the unit level logistics system and the standard Army maintenance management system.

“Due to the fact that they go through their bosses instead of using the computer system, the process here gets cumbersome,” Tracey, a native of Belton, Texas, added. “The system and all the items needed to be ordered is in English, and we are working on changing everything to Arabic.”

Each of the systems is or was part of the standard Army management information system used to order needed supplies – anything from paper, pens, ammo or vehicle parts to a new vehicle.

“We’ve learned that the train-the-trainer approach works well in the U.S. Army and has been implemented throughout the country to help the Iraqi army build up their non-commissioned officer corps,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Miller, 287th Sustainment Bde. logistics training assistance team leader. “Since the 8th IA Div. has been working on their own for two years, they have come up with unique ways to fix vehicles when supplies are slow in getting to them.”

The Iraqi Solders find a vehicle that is in poor condition, but salvages the parts they need that are in good condition, Miller said. Getting the right tools for the job is another process.

“To use a wrench, a mechanic has to go sign it out of a warehouse and turn it back in at the end of the day,” added Miller, a native of Lubbock, Texas. “Our tools and supplies are assigned to a unit and stay in the motor pool where they are there when needed.”

Most supply rooms in the U.S. Army are run by non-commissioned officers who ensure everything is ordered properly through the computer system, which goes straight from the unit to the brigade.
“At the moment, we are working with them helping smooth the process on the third level of supply, which is the brigade level; … they deal with the replacement of engines and other larger items,” Fankauser, a native of Kingman, Kan., said. “The first level is company supplies, such as oil and tools; … the second level is the battalion, which focuses on trouble shooting supply issues.”

At the brigade level, they must also determine why something needs to be replaced in order to see who is at fault and who must pay for the damages. The brigade needs to be able to quickly get the supplies to the lower levels such as battalions, companies and other units.

“This [training] is an important part of helping the IA to continue on their path to better stabilization of their forces and building a feeling of teamwork between us and them,” said Frankauser.

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