A little noticed enclosure in the latest Operation Enduring Freedom progress report from the Pentagon shows a good load out list of small arms, communications equipment, vehicles and enablers now fielded to the Afghan National Army and a partial wishlist of they they need in the near future.
One thing that jumps out is that the coalition still is building a force that uses 5.56 NATO small arms. This began in Iraq and where I can see the benefits of getting 3rd world armies off the Kalashnikov platform, I question the short-term wisdom of it.
Another interesting note is the increased fielding and types of night vision equipment. Let's hope those don't end up in enemy hands.
The dynamics of the Afghan COIN battle and terrain necessitate sustainable and reliable vehicles. As a result, U.S. vehicles are the basic issue for ANA rolling stock. To date, 26,964 items of rolling stock in 40 variants have been delivered to the ANA. The Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (UAH), light tactical vehicles (LTV), and medium tactical vehicles (MTV) are primary mobility assets of the fleet. Logistics and transportation elements are equipped with heavy equipment transport tractors, as well as M915 and M916 tractors with trailers. Engineer units operate bulldozers, cranes, excavators, road graders and scrapers. UAHs have been fielded at 70 percent of authorization, LTVs at 60 percent, and MTVs at 100 percent. Additional vehicles are being procured to backfill future shortfalls.Afghan small arms include: M9 pistols, M16 rifles, M4 carbines, M203 grenade launchers, M249 SAWs.
U.S. radios and night vision devices are issued under the category of communications equipment. There are 14 different types of communications equipment,15 and night vision devices consist of ATN 7-21s, PVS-7s and AVS-9s.
Crew served weapons include: M240 Bravo, M2 .50cal, and (check this out) SPG-9 recoilless rifles, along with 81 and 60mm mortars.
Radios and comms include:
HF base stations and vehicle mounted RT7000s; HF man pack PRC 1099s; VHF base stations; vehicle mounted and man pack PRC1077s; VHF hand-held and retransmission radio sets; RF310 hand-helds, base stations and vehicle mounted radios; and SB22 switch boards and TA312 telephones.The report says the ANA needs EOD gear, counter IED technology and personal protective equipment.
This equipment includes IED jammers, mine rollers, EOD kits, and mine detectors. As the IED threat has increased, the ANA has increased its requirement for mine rollers and detectors; however, the majority of this new requirement cannot be met until late in 2011. For individual soldiers, helmets and body armor vests and plates have been designated for issue. While the majority of this equipment has been ordered, further PPE deliveries will arrive later in 2011 to meet shortfalls.