FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan – Brig. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, deputy commanding general – support for Regional Command South and10th Mountain Division (LI), visited Combined Task Force Spartan’s 710th Brigade Support Battalion and 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion during a whirlwind tour Aug. 13.
“Brig. Gen. Dahl visited us to see the improvements that the BSB and BSTB have made to FOB Pasab,” said Lt. Col. Jered Helwig, 710th BSB commander. “His visit will help the 710th and the Spartan (Brigade) by increasing (Regional Command) South’s situational awareness about our logistics systems and assisting us in providing further improvements.”
Immediately upon arriving at FOB Pasab, Dahl began his visit with Helwig, who accompanied him to several places on Pasab that are run by support Soldiers in 710th BSB.
Up first was a tour of the base support operations center, which coordinates and manages quality-of-life issues on the FOB, including the dining facility, laundry services and recreational areas.
From there, the team had lunch at the new dining facility that provides a nearly 50-percent increase in seating and better meal selection for the 2,500-plus Soldiers and civilians at Pasab.
After lunch, Dahl met with Soldiers of “The Gun Line” – the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment – and their M777 Howitzer. While they were there, the battalion’s Soldiers demonstrated fire mission procedures for Dahl.
They then visited the new Spartan Gym at FOB Pasab, which provides a state-of-the-art facility to maintain the “Spartan Fitness Culture” for continuing the fight. At the gym, Dahl spoke to several Soldiers taking a break from the treadmills and weights, and he even engaged in a pull-up competition with a lieutenant.
A new addition to FOB Pasab is the Spartan Resiliency Center, which houses Behavioral Health Services, a Traumatic Brain Injury clinic and Combat Operational Stress Control Center.
The center also will house resiliency classes once it is completed. Dahl toured the centers, which he said he hopes will provide Soldiers the best treatment possible.
“This brings experts from all these fields together to provide the best possible care for our Soldiers,” Helwig said.
Moving to the B Company, 710th BSB Maintenance Facility, Helwig explained that welders and machinists there have played a unique role in the overall counterinsurgency fight by building everything from playground equipment for Afghan schools to a prosthetic leg for an 8-year-old boy. They accomplished all of these tasks while doing their regular jobs repairing engines, vehicles and other equipment.
“(It’s) a ‘one-stop shop’ for maintenance,” Helwig said. “The Bravo Company has the ability to repair a number of enablers and has an extremely capable and innovative team of welders and machinists.”
The last spot the 710th commander took Dahl was the convoy support center. The center allows Soldiers traveling via ground convoys and combat logistics patrols to plan for their trip, while giving troops a place to receive convoy briefings and other necessary procedures.
“(It) provides a location for convoy briefings and the Company Intelligence Support Team,” Helwig said. “(It) brings up-to-date information for the crews going on combat logistics patrols before they depart on mission.”
While at the CSC, Soldiers demonstrated the “Virtual Battle Space 2,” a computer-based convoy training system.
“The Virtual Battle Space 2 is a simulation system that lets Soldiers train on battle drills and convoy operations,” Helwig said.
After departing the CSC, Dahl met with Lt. Col. Lee Clark, 3rd BSTB commander, to see Vanguard Soldiers in action.
First, Clark took Dahl to see Entry Control Point 3, a security and vehicle screening point for vehicles and personnel entering and leaving FOB Pasab.
Next, they visited the Tactical Unmanned Aerial System area, which plays an important role in launching the Shadow and Raven drones that BSTB Soldiers perform to keep the battlefield as safe as possible for Spartan troops.
“Operations and maintenance of the TUAS Shadow aircraft supports (Soldiers by) providing full motion video to battlefield commanders in planning, preparation and execution of operations,” Clark said.
Finally, they traveled to the other side of the FOB to see the Zharay District Center and bazaar directly outside the gate. These two places have been a priority for BSTB Soldiers.
“(The center) provides district-level government functions to include claims support, land dispute resolution and, eventually, rule of law functions to the citizens of Zharay District,” Clark said. “The Pasab bazaar is a model bazaar designed to attract businesses to Pasab and the surrounding area in order to provide an economic boost to the local economy.
“Brig. Gen. Dahl’s visit helps us to highlight the connections established with the provincial and district governments and the people of Zharay and Maiwand to Regional Command South,” Clark said. “The Spartan Brigade is wor-king hard to connect the people of Zharay and Maiwand to their local governments; Brig. Gen. Dahl’s visit enables us to highlight the critical work being done for and on the behalf of the local communities and helps us to secure more resources to make even more pro-gress.”