Civilians, Soldiers Work Together for Change in Afghanistan
American Forces Press Service
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Sep. 28, 2009 Afghan civilians, leaders, and soldiers are working together along with soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force to make their villages and districts safer and more secure in Afghanistan’s Konar province.
Afghan National Army elements and ISAF servicemembers from the U.S. Army’s Task Force Lethal, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, build stability and security in villages, towns and cities across the province and beyond. Increasingly, officials said, they find themselves receiving help from some friendly faces.
A resident of the province’s Sarkani district turned in nine mines to the Manogai district center Sept. 16. The Manogai district sub-governor led soldiers from Task Force Lethal to the district center, and the soldiers safely removed and disposed of the mines.
The local resident was rewarded under the Small Rewards Program, which provides incentives to Afghans who turn in weapons and ordnance and provide tips and information on insurgent activity. ISAF officials said the program has seen a steady increase in positive results.
In the province’s Dara Noor district, soldiers of 1st Platoon, Company C, 2-12th Infantry Regiment, trained Afghan soldiers on the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and long-range rifle marksmanship on Combat Outpost Able Main on Sept. 15.
The training covered the fundamentals of use and maintenance for the M249 SAW as the Task Force Lethal soldiers taught Afghan soldiers how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble the weapon. Afghan long-range marksmen learned fundamentals of firing, zeroing, and the proper use of the wind and elevation adjustments.
In the neighboring Pech district, Afghan soldiers and soldiers from Task Force Lethal conducted a joint traffic control point Sept. 14 to prevent the movement of weapons and insurgents in the Pech River valley.
The Afghan and ISAF servicemembers exchanged ideas, and the Afghan soldiers learned new techniques while practicing the skills they already have. This mission is just one of many that focus on building and improving the Afghan security forces that stabilize the area and ensure the safety of Afghan citizens, ISAF officials said.
(From a Combined Joint Task Force 82 news release.)