Area Support Group - Kuwait –
In synchronized efforts, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command and the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve Directorate of Military Assistance in Kuwait work together to facilitate the divestment of critical assets to Iraqi partner forces in the fight to defeat ISIS.
U.S. Navy Reserve CJTF-OIR DMA Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Shaffstall, says this partnership is critical to accomplishing the mission to support Iraqi Security Force interdependence, building partner capacity, and promoting peace and stability in the region.
"If we did not work hand in hand with the 1st TSC, divestments would not happen," Shaffstall said. "From the arrival of assets into theater to accountability…we would not be able to get them to our partner forces in Iraq and Syria without the transportation and logistic support from the 1st TSC."
This Congress-approved program supports U.S. government initiatives to defeat ISIS by divesting critical resources to the Government of Iraq and providing training to vetted ISF officials. Although initial requests are coordinated through liaison officers, the procurement and delivery process relies heavily on the ongoing communication with 1st TSC and DMA offices.
"Having CTEF funding helps enable our partner forces in defeating DAESH by equipping and building capabilities," Shaffstall said. "Our close relationship with 1st TSC allows these divestments to go off. Through them, we know what's available in theater and when, allowing us to know how fast we can get them out."
In October, the DMA fostered the divestment of an air traffic control tower to the Iraqi Air Force operating out of the Q – West Airbase.
U.S. Army Capt. Adam Druffel, 232nd CSSB CTEF-I operations officer in charge at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq, and fellow Soldiers from the CSSB were part of the delivery process.
"The Al Asad Air Base Forward Logistic Element is the last operation at the tactical level to lateral transfer and deliver the CTEF-I equipment from the United States Government to partner forces from the Government of Iraq," Druffel said.
With 1st TSC's boots on the ground view of the divestment, Druffel says the ongoing partnership with DMA sets teams like his, "up" for success.
"Working closely with the Directorate of Military Assistance has proven to be an invaluable asset while planning and conducting divestment missions," Druffel said. "The outstanding partnership between the organizations at all levels (CSSB, S.B., DMA, and 1st TSC) is the key component that makes the CTEF program successful from the strategic level through the tactical level."
U.S. Army Col. John M. Dreska, 1st TSC CTEF-I, joined Druffel in the transfer, witnessing first-hand the fruition of the DMA's efforts from the acquisition to actualization phase.
"The Iraqi trucks that were loaded with the ATC tower were actually CTEF-I trucks that were previously divested years earlier," said Dreska. "By working with the DMA to move resources to our partner forces, we are enabling them with the tools to defeat ISIS and improve the security posture for the entire country.
The unified efforts from the 1st TSC and DMA continues to support divestments approved through the CTEF program. This ongoing partnership is a mission Dreska says is sure to endure.
"Our teamwork between DMA and the 1st TSC is amongst the best in theater," Dreska said. "We want to enable our partner forces with the resources to provide the security to secure their country, building partner capacity. The close working relationship between the DMA and 1st TSC is absolutely imperative for mission success."