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A day in the life of a Supply Corps Officer.

Lt. Cmdr. Bert Hornyak, SC, USN, is currently serving as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A). In November 2009, just prior to his arrival NTM-A/CSTC-A transitioned from CSTC-A to a Joint NATO command, with representation from 46 nations, responsible for generating and sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces, developing leaders, and establishing enduring institutional capacity within the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Interior (MoI) to enable accountable Afghan-led security.


Many urgent challenges were present upon his arrival. Training facilities were on the verge of shutting down due to severe Coalition manning shortages. There was an emphasis on quantity over quality. Afghan National Police (ANP) were recruited and then assigned generally without receiving any formal training. ANSF pay lacked parity with comparable occupations. Attrition reached record highs without sufficient new personnel being recruited to fill the void.

However, in the last six months the Afghans are on path to meet end strength objectives, but component elements of ANA and ANP are at risk to meet end strength goals. Aggregate attrition has been decreasing for the ANA and ANP over the last six months, but there is no assurance that this trend will continue. The traditional summer lull for ANSF recruiting exacerbates concerns.

As coalition manning levels rose, the instructor-to-trainee ratio improved to 1:29, but both remain a significant concern. In order to increase the probability of success and the quality of training, additional personnel are required, including Afghan trainers. Several NTM-A programs were reoriented in the areas of leadership development, literacy, marksmanship, drivers' training, and standards for doctors; however, quality remains unacceptably low. The Afghan air fleet was successfully expanded and capability increased. The ANP moving to the recruit-train-assign model will improve quality.

Ministerial development shows slow and steady progress, but corruption hinders the development of systems. The MoD and MoI are moving towards Afghan-led ministerial operational capacity, but neither will be fully capable before 2012. NTM-A supported the strategy to address corruption in the MoI and MoD and support ISAF anti-corruption efforts which include pay by phone, electronic funds transfer, mobile anti-corruption teams, and establishment of an ANSF biometrics program.

Leader development remains priority one. ANSF leadership deficiencies--across the spectrum from insufficient numbers of junior officers and NCOs, gaps in the midgrade ranks, to corrupt senior officers--pose the greatest threat to our Afghan allies. Critical shortages in officers and noncommissioned officers, as well as qualified logisticians, persist.

Lt. Cmdr. Hornyak spent his first 45 days at NTM-A/CSTC-A as an advisor, working closely with the Minister of Defense for Finance and the Afghan National Army General Staff, G8. However, he was selected by LTG Caldwell to serve as his Executive Officer shortly after arrival in Kabul. Many would think this position would be better suited for a line officer, with a background in strategic operations vice logistics, however Lt. Cmdr. Hornyak would disagree. Lt. Cmdr. Hornyak has relied heavily on his time at the Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. "I was not sold on the importance of a JPME until this tour. Over the course of the past five months I have used much of the material I learned while attending CGSC. NTM-A is an Army dominated Command and my ability to speak and understand the Army lingo has definitely made for a more beneficial tour," he said.

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Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Jul 1, 2010
Previous Article:2010 Navy Supply Corps Strategic Guidance.
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