Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Soldiers from Headquarters Support Company, 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, conducted forklift training with soldiers from the Kandahar Air Wing, here, Aug. 11.
This training allowed ground mechanics of the KAW to learn how to operate three types of forklifts.
“The training is very good,” said 1st Sgt. Manwar, motor pool noncommissioned officer in charge, KAW. “The soldiers are doing very well in the training. They are helping one another and are very motivated to do this training.”
“The (Afghan) noncommissioned officers have started to step up and help direct the soldiers during the training,” said Sgt. Jacob Fry, wheeled vehicle mechanic, HSC, 209th ASB, 25th CAB. “Before this, they only had a few people who were proficient on the forklifts. This training will allow everyone to receive the knowledge and gain experience to conduct daily operations after we leave.”
With any training class or task to be performed, safety is always the most important aspect, and ground guides were a critical part of the safety for this class.
“The ground guides are used to make sure the forklift operator properly secures the pallets and to make sure the area around them stays safe,” Frey said. “They can use hand and arm signals that they know, just as long as the ground guide and the driver are on the same page.”
This forklift training is the first class to be conducted since the start of certification training. Eight to 12 soldiers participate each day.
As KAW soldiers are being trained in all aspects, they come closer to being able to work independently and being cohesive with other Afghan units.
“This training is very important,” Manwar said. “Once coalition forces withdraw, we will be the ones taking over. We have to be able to go and grab the cargo once it arrives. It is important for our soldiers to have this training.”