KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The Fort Bragg-based, 82nd Sustainment Brigade-U.S. Central Command Materiel Recovery Element partnered with Regional Command-South, Combined Joint Task Force 4, to give medical supplies to Afghanistan’s Kandahar Ministry of Public Health Feb. 25, at the Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan retrosort yard.
Soldiers of the 418th Medical Logistics Company, attached to the 82nd SB-CMRE, sorted, accounted for, processed, inventoried and loaded nearly 80, tri-wall boxes filled with more than $700,000 worth of medical equipment which is being donated to Kandahar Ministry of Public Health officials through the Foreign Excess Personal Property program.
Troops of 418th Med. Log. Co. used a forklift to place the supplies on trucks which include needles, surgical gowns and masks, among many other items.
“Today, we’re doing an inventory of all the materials and a portion of it is being picked up now (by the Afghans) with the rest being contracted for shipment at a later date,” said Maj. James Schmid, Afghan National Security Forces medical development chief for CJTF-4. “The Afghans will be able to equip all clinics and level III hospitals in the (Kandahar) region. These were excess supplies and it’s good to see that we’re not wasting tax payer money by disposing of it.
“This is a great opportunity as these supplies may have just stayed here and expired, so I’m glad it’s going to good use,” said 1st Lt. Jaime Daniels, brigade medical planner, 82nd SB-CMRE.
As locations down-size through on-going deconstruction projects in Afghanistan, teams at the retrosort yards, including those who process Class VIII (medical supplies and equipment) work to ensure useable items from the bases get returned to the U.S. military inventory either in theater and elsewhere or are given to Afghans through programs such as FEPP.
Dr. Abdulqayoum Pokhla, director for Afghanistan’s Kandahar Ministry of Public Health, coordinated with the 82nd SB-CMRE and CJTF-4 for the supplies and will be using them to re-stock 46 clinics throughout the Kandahar region.
“We have received some supplies in the past, but not in such a large quantity before,” said Pokhla. “We’re absolutely happy and very thankful about this as not only does our medical mission benefit, but our civilians and our health facilities benefit.”
With Afghanistan’s successful transition to overseeing its own security, Pokhla said he is optimistic about his country’s efforts toward stability.
“We have made good progress and there are still many areas where the health sector needs to improve, but with support from the international community, I do see positive trends in Afghanistan for the future,” said Pokhla.