Dan Rather visits New Kabul Compound (NKC), I am left front of Dan Rather. He did an interview with BG Steven Shapiro on the Retrograde Operations in Afghanistan.
Dan Rather, with his entourage of filming staff, came to Kabul in March to interview the one star General from the 1st TSC (Theater Sustainment Command), BG Steven Shapiro. Mr. Rather wanted to gather insight on how we will handle Retrograde within timeline and constraints energized by President Obama in his January State of The Union address. Retrograde simply means draw down operation, however, in this point in history it’s also compounded with a Force Management draw down. We need to be at 34K by Feb 2014.. Retrograde is about returning all vehicles, weapons and equipment that have accumulated in Afghanistan during the last ten years back to the United States. The question of the day is how to balance between number of soldiers, force security, transition of security responsibility to Afghans (ANSF- Afghan National Security Force) and the Retrograde itself. The challenge is moving things around a mountainous landlocked country knowing we have space, personnel, equipment and time constraints making it very different then Iraq. “We Can and We Will,” is our motto. It’s been said, “If you think Iraq was difficult, I would call that getting your bachelor’s degree in logistics. Withdrawing from Afghanistan is getting your PhD in logistics and we’re writing our thesis as we speak.”
This is an exciting and busy time for me as a logistics officer. My job is to work equipping and sourcing all units coming into Theater. A group of us meet with stakeholders in Afghanistan who are Redeploying (outgoing) Units with the deploying Units (Incoming). We grind out line by line on equipment and try to agree on what can be sourced from TPE (Theater Positioned Equipment). One of the Units I’m working with (2CR) is featured in May 26th Stars and Stripes. We try and source everything possible here in theater, resulting in the unit bringing little as possible from the states. This directly helps the Retrograde, you can imagine how much visibility the Retrograde process has gained, enough so Dan Rather paid us a visit!