Buckley Airman deploys, conducts counterinsurgency, stability operations in Afghanistan
By Tech. Sgt. Beth Del Vecchio, U.S. Air Forces Central
/ Published June 18, 2012
KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Tech. Sgt. Ronald Cervera Jr., deployed from the 460th Force Support Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., is serving in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kapisa Province.
Cervera a San Antonio, Texas, native, will serve a six-month tour with the PRT.
The Kapisa PRT covers an area of approximately 1,840 square kilometers of mountainous terrain, home to nearly 365,000 Afghans. Located just North of Kabul, Kapisa is the smallest province in the country, but has the one of the highest populations per capita spread throughout seven districts.
The PRT has been conducting counterinsurgency and stability operations in the province for more than six years. Cervera, PRT personnelist, and the team will be the last PRT in Kapisa.
The team's mission is to work with leaders of Kapisa, at the provincial and district level, to bolster the capacity and credibility of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, or GIRoA.
With the help of an Army security force, PRT Kapisa traverses not only its own province but also the surrounding provinces of Parwan and Kabul participating in key leader engagements, scouting areas for new projects and performing quality checks and site visits on existing projects. They work closely with the Afghans, mentoring them on how GIRoA can work for them.
Cervera is the subject matter expert for all personnel-related matters for the Air Force and Army, active duty and reserve, service members and civilians on the 65-member team. He is also the Commander's Emergency Response Program pay agent for projects done by the PRT throughout Kapisa.
Cervera says working joint-personnel issues has its challenges, but he enjoys being able to help the team out.
"It helps to already have an Army deployment under my belt," Cervera said. "On my last deployment I sat on Army promotions boards, wrote evaluations, awards and counseling for my Soldier. So, it's nice to have that knowledge with me here."
Along with handling all of the personnel-related matters, Cervera volunteered to be a CERP pay agent, which takes him outside-the-wire with the team to key leader engagements and project sites throughout the province.
As pay agent, Cervera handles the documentation and funding for smaller, immediate-need projects, such as office equipment purchases, electrical improvements to infrastructure or construction improvements to wells or ditches.
"We have the ability to conduct Quick Impact Projects to help the province immediately," Cervera said. "Interacting with the local Afghans and provincial leaders allows the PRT to support GIRoA's efforts."
The future of the province will reflect the legacy that the current team leaves and only time will tell. One thing that is for sure is the current successful operations in Kapisa reflect the hard work that has been done by Cervera and the PRT throughout the years.