Showing posts with label retrograde. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retrograde. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

NYT's Opinion - No Cause to Delay Pullout

So is our withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan to be time-based or conditions-based? Military leaders now say that it is conditions-based but realists know that President Obama has a timeline. After all, he has his legacy to think of - getting America out of two wars during his presidency. General Campbell, the commander of the Resolute Support mission, says that he is not going to be hesitant in asking for more time if he needs it. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter says the same. President Ghani will soon visit the White House and most all observers think he will ask for a delay in the troop withdrawal timeline. However, not everyone agrees that Afghanistan needs more time. Read "No Cause to Delay the Afghan Pullout", The New York Times, March 9, 2015.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Afghan Retrograde - Hazardous Waste Material

The retrograde operation in Afghanistan is, for the most part, complete. By the end of 2014 the Coalition force was down to approximately 13,000 personnel and very few bases. Most of the attention on the retrograde of ISAF over the past two years has been on the movement of MRAPs, equipment, and personnel out of Afghanistan; the closing of bases; and ability of the Afghan National Security Forces to take on the Taliban without significant assistance from ISAF. There is one aspect of the retrograde process that, while perhaps not as newsworthy as the previously mentioned topics, is equally important. Over the past 13 years there has been an accumulation of hazardous waste material building up on the many small outposts and large forwarding operation bases. As each base closes provisions have to be made for the responsible disposition of the hazardous waste material. The European Commission and the United States has some pertinent directives and regulations that have to be followed and one firm - EcoLog International - is assisting in this task. Read more in "Cleaning NATO's EcoWaste in Afghanistan", by K. Aisha Abdelhamid posted on The Inspired Economist on January 7, 2015.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dismantling of Bagram Air Base

The retrograde of U.S. personnel, vehicles, and equipment has been ongoing for the last few years. Hundreds of small and large Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) have been closed or transferred to the Afghan security forces. Those remaining bases - Herat, Camp Marmal at Mezar-e-Sharif, Kandahar Air Base, and Bagram Air Field are collapsing their perimeters and demolishing living and work areas. Read about the transformation of Bagram Air Field in "What Afghanistan's Largest Military Base Looks Like Now", Business Insider,, January 6, 2015.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

USFOR-A Graphic Shows Transition and Drawdown

A USFOR-A graphic published in early January 2015 depicts how much personnel, vehicles and cargo containers have been moved out of Afghanistan during 2014. In addition, it depicts bases closed, meals served, and fuel consumed. Read the article and view the graphic at "2014 was a year of transition, drawdown for USFOR-A", NATO RS News, January 6, 2014.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

IJC Shuts its Doors

ISAF Joint Command (IJC) has shut down. Most of its personnel have returned to the states or will return shortly. Those that stay on will be absorbed into the ISAF structure which will soon be the command structure for the Resolute Support mission. Read more in "U.S. and NATO Ceremonially End Afghan Combat Mission", The New York Times, December 8, 2014. See also an ISAF news release - "ISAF Joint Command formally ceases operations", ISAF News, December 8, 2014. And just a little bit more in "With the troops: Bittersweet farewell for 18th Airborne Corps", Fayetteville Observer, December 8, 2014.

Ghani - Slow Down Troop Drawdown

President Ashraf Ghani is hinting that the U.S. and its allies should slow down the troop withdrawal process in Afghanistan. Ghani believes that the ANSF still needs quite a bit more help. Read more from Julian Barnes and Adam Entous in "Afghan Leader Seeks to Slow U.S. Troop Drawdown", The Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2014.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

82nd CAB and Retrograde

The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade has been busy loading helicopters onto aircraft for the ride home back to the states. By the end of the year the 82nd CAB will have sent back 80 helicopters, including Chinooks, OH-58 Kiowa Warriors, UH-60 Black Hawks and AH-64 Apaches. It has also returned nearly $200 million worth of spare parts, tools and other equipment as part of its retrograde operations. The bulk of the equipment is shipped back to Kuwait where it is sorted through and prioritized for further shipment. Read more in "With the Troops: Copters packed for trip home"Fayetteville Observer, December 5, 2014.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Troop Drawdown is Evident

A correspondent for the Fayetteville Observer,  Drew Brooks, writes about the evident drawdown of troops from the once bustling military bases in Afghanistan. He comments of the ghost town that once was the military side of Kabul International Airport (KIA) and Kandahar Air Field (KAF).  Read more in "Troop drawdown is evident at Afghanistan bases" (November 30, 2014).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Video - "War on the B-Huts"

As the Coalition forces in Afghanistan withdraw the number of housing units needed become less and less. The B-huts on Bagram Air Field at one time stretched for miles along Disney (the main road on BAF). The Resolute Support footprint will be very much reduced in 2015. Wooden buildings provide little protection to incoming rocket attacks and BAF has seen its share of that (although not nearly as much as FOB Shank used to get). See a video about the destruction of B-huts on Bagram Air Field (BAF) in "Bagram: the war on wood", NATO (YouTube), November 24, 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Retrograde - What the Afghans Get

It is impossible for the military to take all the supplies and equipment home from Afghanistan. Some does come back - especially the expensive stuff that is easy to transport. Some stuff is passed on to the Afghans. A lot of material and equipment is sold to Afghan contractors for removal. Read more in "Marine pullout offers preview of what U.S. leaves behind for Afghan troops", The Washington Post, November 12, 2014.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

War Gear Missing in Afghanistan

According to the Pentagon's inspector general there is a lot of unaccounted gear missing from the 13 year long war in Afghanistan. Read more in "Army Slow to Investigate War Gear Missing in Afghanistan", Bloomberg, November 4, 2014.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Afghan Plans for Camp Leatherneck

The Afghan 215th ANA Corps inherited a sprawling base in southwest Afghanistan with the departure of the Marines from Camp Leatherneck. The mystery is what will the Afghans do with the base, buildings (298), vehicles, equipment, and gear. One of the buildings is a $36 million, 64,000-square foot military headquarters built for the Marines but never used. Ouch. The camp was built to accommodate 26,000 troops. Read more in "Afghans' plans for gear, buildings at Leatherneck unclear", Marine Corps Times, November 2, 2014.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Marines Arrive at Pendleton

Marines and Sailors have returned to Camp Pendleton after their deployment to Helmand province, Afghanistan. Camp Leatherneck has been transferred to the Afghan National Army (ANA).
Read more in "Camp Pendleton: Last Marines Return from Afghanistan", The Press Enterprise, November 6, 2014.

10th Mountain Returns from Afghanistan

The 10th Mountain Division has returned from Afghanistan where it fielded the Regional Command East (RC East) hqs. RC East has transitioned to Train Advise and Assist Command East or TACC East. Learn more in "10th Mountain Division headquarters returns from Afghanistan", Watertown Daily News, November 7, 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Two Bases Handed to Afghans

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has handed over two large bases in Helmand province to the Afghan National Army (ANA). Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck were transferred to the Afghans in a recent ceremony. The complex, both bases are adjacent to each other, also has a large airstrip. Read more in "NATO coalition hands over two major bases to Afghan military", The Washington Post, October 26, 2014.

Monday, October 27, 2014

C-5M Super Galaxies Assist in Retrograde

The 18th Air Force has begun using C-5M Super Galaxies to move equipment out of Afghanistan. Most of the retrograde has been completed using C-17s; however the Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq War) mission has cut into the availability of the C-17s for Afghanistan. The C-M5 is usually used in a strategic role (transatlantic flights) not in a tactical role (shorter flights into and out of war zones). Read more in "18th AF goes big on retrograde operations", Air Mobility Command, October 24, 2014.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Withdrawal Under Fire in RC East

A recent news article paints a worrisome picture of the security situation in the south-eastern sector of Regional Command East (RC East). As the remaining Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) have been closed down or transferred to the Afghan National Army (ANA) U.S. Soldiers find that the Taliban have become increasing aggressive. Some observers say that the Taliban want to project the image that these attacks in the closing days of the U.S. presence are causing the U.S. to close up shop. Others say that these attacks are a sign of a deadly fighting season ahead in 2015. Read more in "Parting shot: No fond farewell for 82nd paratroopers in Afghanistan", Stars and Stripes, October 23, 2014.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Retrograde in Full Swing"

A news release by the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) provides us with details on how Soldiers of aviation units at Bagram Air Field are preparing helicopters for the ride home back to the United States. See "Retrograde in full swing in Afghanistan" published October 18, 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Drawdown Affects More than Troops

The draw down of forces from Afghanistan is affecting more than the troops who are deployed there. The U.S. will be cutting back to about 9,800 troops and NATO to 2,000-3,000 troops by the end of December 2014. Along with these troop cutbacks are the reduction in the contractor force. One of the biggest contingents of contractors is supplied by the Philippines. At one time there were over 6,000 Filipinos in Afghanistan. The number currently (Oct 14) stands at about 4,000. Read more in "Pullout of US troops to affect 4,000 OFWs in Afghanistan", Business Mirror, October 12, 2014.

Monday, October 13, 2014

C-5M Super Galaxy and Afghan Retrograde

Next to the Security Force Assistance (SFA) mission in Afghanistan the next biggest mission is retrograde. Getting personnel and equipment home to the United States as the troop commitment drops to 9,800 in December 2014. The c-5M Super Galaxy is playing a big role in the retrograde mission. Read more in "Airmen take retrograde operations to the next level", DVIDS, October 10, 2014.