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Equipping the ‘Total Force’

By Staff Sgt. DALTON Smith | 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) | Jan. 12, 2017

January 4, 2017 — As the primary means of transporting weapons, ammunition, vehicles and more in to Iraq, the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), Iraq Train and Equipment Funding (ITEF) team’s work is never ending.

“As ITEF, we’re the sole means of transporting the entire kit to the forces in Iraq,” said Col. Michael Plattenburg, director of ITEF with the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

In 2015, Congress appropriated $1.6 billion in ITEF appropriation to provide assistance to military and other security services associated with the Government of Iraq, including Kurdish and tribal security forces with a national security mission.

The coalition has provided more than 8 million pounds of ammunition and equipment to Iraqi Kurdish forces through over 100 airlift missions and in coordination with the Iraqi government. This includes small arms, machine guns, mortars, radios and vehicles donated from more than a dozen countries. Many of the U.S. contributions were purchased using ITEF allocations.

“Uniforms, vests, boots, you name it we have it,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Amber Price, ITEF warehouse supervisor. “We receive, package and issue all items from the ITEF warehouse once the 1st TSC sends us a request.”

The U.S. military has also trained more than 2,000 Iraqi Kurdish Forces and currently several hundred more through ITEF. Units trained under this program will receive the same weapons systems, vehicles and equipment as the Iraq Army forces.

“ITEF’s primary is to outfit the Iraqi forces and to make sure they have the appropriate equipment and arms to combat Da’esh,” said Plattenburg.