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Regional Support Command-East leader conducts visit to Gardez, Afghanistan

May 16, 2011

By Air Force Master Sgt. Quinton Burris, RSC-East/NTM-A Public Affairs

GARDEZ, Afghanistan -- Army Col. Ronald Metternich, Regional Support Command - East commander, completed a battlefield circulation visit to Gardez, Afghanistan on May 8 to visit Afghan National Army enabler facilities and forward deployed team members in the area.

Metternich, accompanied by Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Sluga, RSC-East ANA team chief, Army Sgt. Maj. Robert Hixson, RSC-East sergeant major, visited Regional Military Training Center Gardez, 1st Forward Supply Depot, the Paktya Regional Military Hospital and Forward Operating Base Lightning during the "BFC."

"The primary function of RSC-East is to help build Afghan National Security Forces capable of securing Afghanistan's future," said Metternich. "It is important that we visit sites throughout RSC-East to get a first-hand, first-person perspective on the how we are progressing."

Metternich completed key-leadership-engagements with ANA Col. Basir Blooch, 1st FSD commander and ANA Col. Malang Shah Chamcanai, RMTC Gardez commander, to get their perspective on the progress at their locations and also gain some insight on the different challenges to operations.

As expected, every site had challenges but there were no major issues interfering with the progressions of training.

The RTMC had concerns about fuel; the FSD had issues turning in outdated items and the hospital was in need of equipment parts. Overall, each of the sites we're enthusiastic about the assistance being provided by RSC-East.

"The mentors have really helped us with our processes, training, literacy, and in every aspect of our mission from security to warehousing," said Blooch. "We are truly pleased with their efforts and willingness to help us build a stable and secure Afghanistan."

Assisting a country in its efforts to build a security force capable of providing the safety and security for its people has presented challenges, but members of RSC-East confront and find solutions to challenges on a daily basis.

"We realize as we overcome one challenge there will be more to follow," said Sluga. "But we are here to advise and assist our ANA counterparts as they work to build a sustainable force. We stand shoulder to shoulder conquering one challenge after another."

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