IN AFGHANISTAN: Guam’s Gamberi Gang Continues Support for Afghan Army Logistics Team

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FORWARD OPERATING BASE GAMBERI, Afghanistan — Nine Soldiers from Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard, have spent the last few months of their Operation Enduring Freedom mission protecting a critical logistics team.

This team is responsible for providing training, mentoring and advising to the Afghan National Army on equipment matters and necessities ranging from vehicles to toilet paper.  

[Members of Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard, share time with visiting Echo leaders at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan. Sitting: Spc. Antoni Blas, Spc. Hainy Anthony Borja, Spc. Kerman Melsior Jr., Pfc. John Garcia and Pfc. Daniel Osborn. Standing: Sgt. Mark J. Garcia, Sgt. Ricky San Nicolas, Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Flores, Spc. Joey Rabago, Sgt. Branden Cruz, Staff Sgt. Ray Aromin and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Castro, platoon sergeant. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Eddie Siguenza/Released)]

When the team makes its site runs, it calls the Guam Soldiers to provide security forces, personal security and guardian angels to ANA compounds outside of FOB Gamberi. Task Force Guam Soldiers respond with professionalism and enthusiasm, says Maj. Anjeanette Lawson, Regional Command-East logistics officer in charge.

“I can’t imagine doing anything without them,” Lawson said. “They’re great Soldiers and a big part of the great team we have. They bring life to the group.” 


[Pfc. Daniel C. Osborn, driver-gunner for Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard, prepares his vehicle prior to leave Forward Operating Base Gamberi in east Afghanistan prior to a daily mission in the Laghman Province. Close to a dozen Guam Guardsmen are located here running personal security missions. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Eddie Siguenza/Released)]

The Guam Soldiers combine with nine Army active duty Soldiers, civilian contractors and instructors, to form a group that caters to ANA’s 201st Corps in the eastern Afghanistan region. The Soldiers run daily missions, sometimes even twice a day.  When there’s a scheduled break, they’re actively retraining basic skills or common tasks with their leaders.

“I couldn’t ask for a better team,” said Chief Warrant Officer Sherry Coffey, chief maintenance officer, 16th Military Police Brigade from Fort Bragg, S.C. and second in command of the Gamberi logistics group. “They’re professionals. They’re always on alert. They’re young, but they know to be serious when the mission begins.”  

[Spc. Kerman Melsior Jr., a driver-rifleman for Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard, prepares to leave Forward Operating Base Gamberi in east Afghanistan prior to a daily mission in the Laghman Province. Close to a dozen Guam Guardsmen are located here running personal security missions. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Eddie Siguenza/Released)]

Gamberi is one of nearly a dozen locations Guam Guardsmen are based. It’s a small post within an ANA compound, but it’s far from other locations where TF Guam is stationed.

“We’re separated from our unit, but we’re doing fine. We rely on each other for things we need and our families help by sending other things,” said Sgt. Branden Cruz, fire team leader and administrator. “Everyone works as a team. We make sure we know each other’s job. The people we work for are good. They make us want to continue working with them.”


[Sitting in the middle are Maj. Anjeanette Lawson, Regional Logistics Support Command-East officer in charge, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Sherry Coffey, chief maintenance officer, two key leaders in charge of Guam Army National Guard Echo Company Soldiers stationed at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan. Joining them, in front: Sgt 1st Class Patrick Flores, Sgt. Ricky San Nicolas, Spc. Hainy Anthony Borja, Lawson, Coffey, Spc. Kerman Melsior Jr. and Pfc. John Garcia. Back row: Staff Sgt. Ray Aromin, Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Castro, Sgt. Mark Garcia, Master Sgt. Duane Perez, Echo Company first sergeant, Pfc. Daniel Osborn, Spc. Antoni Blas and Spc. Joey Rabago. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Eddie Siguenza/Released)]