Minnesotans In Afghanistan: Getting Things Done….Bryan Pederson
CPT Bryan Pederson from Nimrod, Minnesota is a logistics guy. He knows how to get things done. During my embed with the Minnesota National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team he was one of the first Soldiers I met as we shared a room with 4 others at Kandahar Air Field.
This isn’t Pederson’s first time around the block. With two previous deployments to Iraq under his belt he is able to compare and contrast his Iraq experiences with what he’s experiencing in Afghanistan. “It’s night and day”, he said. The bases in Iraq were much more organized than what he’s encountered during his first six months in Afghanistan. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done. It’s a lot better now than it was when we got here.” The conditions of the bases he has encountered is not the largest obstacle he’s had to overcome. “In Iraq it was so much easier to get supplies we needed. We can still get them here, but it takes a lot longer. We need to forecast out further.”
As a part of CPT Pederson’s daily activities he works with Afghan contractors to complete jobs and order supplies. “It would be easier to work with American contractors, but working through the Afghan contractors helps us boost their economy and build up their businesses over here.” He acknowledges that this is a way to benefit Afghans and at the same time make it easier for U.S. Troops to get out of the country.
Pederson and his team of three order and deliver many of the supplies, from shovels to knives to armor and office equipment, the ADT needs in order to safely complete their mission of helping the local Afghan Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock become better able to help the farmers of Zabul Province.
Logistic Officers like CPT Pederson are key to getting things done. They can make the impossible possible. I asked where he was able to find all of the plywood that is used to build walls inside the tents the soldiers sleep in. He gave a wry smile that seemed to say “don’t ask”.
“When I think back on my time here I’m going to feel pride, we’ve accomplished a lot as our own little team.”
Best Book Bryan has read on deployment: The Blind Side
Worst Movie Bryan has seen on deployment: Bridesmaids