Soldiers Support Jordanian Field Hospital in Afghanistan
By Sgt. Stephanie Hall, USA
Special to AFPS
Staff Sgt. Dan G. Bakerofske, 978th Quartermaster Company,
pumps fuel into a plastic bottle so he can run tests on
the fuel later to make sure it’s up to standard. Bakerofske
is part of a forward logistical element of U.S. soldiers
supporting the Jordanian Medical Field Hospital in Afghanistan’s
by Sgt. Stephanie Hall, USA
Afghanistan – A team of 20 soldiers works relentlessly behind
the scenes to maintain a firm foundation of around-the- clock
logistical support to the Jordanian Medical Field Hospital.
hospital, located in the northern province of Balkh, provides
medical care to countless Afghans, but it’s the daily support
of the U.S. soldiers that keeps this facility running.
from several units and job specialties make up what’s called a
forward logistical element, or FLE to support the hospital. The
FLE is responsible for a variety of support duties, – such
as providing security for a nearby air field to ensuring generators
vital to the daily operations of the Jordanian hospital continue
units include Logistics Task Force 406, the 978th Quartermaster
Company, the 1015th Maintenance Company, the 479th Medical Logistics
Detachment, the 279th Engineer Detachment, and the 213th Area
The FLE provides
coalition elements in Balkh province with food and fuel, but its
primary mission is to support the Jordanian hospital with whatever
it needs, said Maj. Robert K. Liput II, the officer in charge
of the FLE.
much take all the logistical infrastructure (issues) away from
the Jordanians," said Liput. "We manage it so that the
Jordanians can focus on their mission, which is providing the
humanitarian (medical) relief for the northwest region of Afghanistan."
the FLE provides for the Jordanians often differs from the support
soldiers normally would give to a U.S. element.
The FLE provides
food and drink to the Jordanians daily, said Sgt. James A. Harrison,
the supply noncommissioned officer in charge of the FLE.
that because fresh fruit makes up a substantial portion of the
Jordanians’ usual diet, the FLE’s higher command in Karsi-Khanabad
allows the FLE to receive more fresh produce than is normally
The FLE also
gives the Jordanians fuel support. "We store and issue fuel,
and the Jordanians are the biggest customer here," said Staff
Sgt. Kenneth L. Bolton, the fuel NCOIC for the FLE. "They
use approximately 800 to 1,000 gallons a day for heating, generators,
and vehicles." Most of the fuel is used for the constantly
running generators, which keep power for lights, heat and life-saving
machines running, he said.
also are vital for the Jordanians, and the FLE makes sure those
necessities always are in stock, said Spc. Don J. Adams, who is
in charge of keeping up with the medical supply needs for the
hospital. Because the Jordanians see so many patients, "the
FLE gets top priority for blood and medicine," he said. The
hospital sees from 500 to more than 900 patients a day.
pharmacy takes a majority of the daily patients, so the FLE ensures
that medicine, vitamins and other pharmacy supplies are always
available, said Adams.
The FLE is
able to satisfy many more of the Jordanians’ needs because of
their long logistical reach.
Americans have been here longer, have the capability, have a much
greater and longer reach as far as our supply train, and we are
able to provide (logistical needs) in a much more expedient fashion
than the Jordanians would if they did it themselves," said
Liput, adding that’s why both parties agreed to this arrangement.
This FLE team
has accomplished a lot to improve the work area for themselves
as well as the Jordanian Hospital, said Liput. "Since we’ve
been here in the last seven months, this area has drastically
changed in its appearance," he noted. Improving hospital
structures, enhancing generator capabilities and strengthening
security precautions are only a few of the improvements made by
Liput’s team, he said.
and quality of the support produced by the FLE soldiers is strengthened
because they know their work indirectly helps each patient who
walks through the hospital gates, said Harrison. "We’re supporting
the Jordanians in their effort to take care of the Afghan people,"
he said. "Overall, it’s a mission worthy of giving all we’ve