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Civil-Military Operations Make Strides in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2005 – Progress continues in Afghanistan, where several key events have taken place over the last few weeks, the director of civil-military operations for Combined Forces Command Afghanistan told reporters today in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

"First, we had the grand opening of the Khoshal Khan Kuchi Tribal School on Jan. 15," Army Col. Randy Brooks said. "This school will help 1,400 Kuchi students receive a good education that will provide them with the opportunity for a brighter future, and will enable them to become productive, contributing members of Afghan society."

The Afghan ministries of Education, Higher Education, Women's Affairs, and Water and Power cooperated to help complete the $800,000 project, Brooks said.

And civil-military operations in Afghanistan recently received approval to begin several new projects in Kabul, the colonel said. Those projects include building a security wall at the American University, assisting in the renovation of both a headquarters building for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and a spectrum-monitoring building for the Ministry of Communications.

Brooks said the civil-military operations law enforcement cell recently distributed more than 16,000 sets of cold-weather gear to the Interior Ministry. Afghan National Police in 10 provinces so far, as well as the Kabul police and the central training center in Kabul, have received coats, hats, gloves and scarves, he added.

"We also distributed 2,300 protective vests to the ANP," he said. "These items will increase the capability and effectiveness of the ANP by enabling them to provide effective law enforcement for Afghan citizens throughout the year, regardless of the weather."

In its last monthly meeting, Brookes reported, the Provincial Reconstruction Team Executive Steering Committee decided to endorse common "terms of reference" for the International Security and Assistance Force and Combined Forces Command Afghanistan PRTs. "These terms of reference standardize the relationship between PRTs and define their roles in security and reconstruction," he said. "This makes both CFCA and ISAF PRT operations more transparent to Afghans and the international community, and helps countries who are considering sourcing PRTs understand the expectations of a PRT."

The hope is that the terms of reference will help those who deal with PRTs better understand those organizations' mission and functions, Brooks said. The committee also agreed on a strategic plan to recognize when PRTs have achieved their desired effect and therefore completed their mission.

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