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Soldiers Boost Security for Afghan National Elections

By Army Spc. Eugene H. Cushing
Special to American Forces Press Service

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Aug. 4, 2009 – Afghan National Police and U.S. military police assigned to Task Force Mountain Warrior conducted training here to boost security for Afghanistan’s upcoming presidential election.

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Army Sgt. Christopher C. Silva discusses training opportunities with Afghan National Police Maj. Sali Mohammed, operations officer for the Shigal district police station, July 15, 2009, at the Manogai Police Station in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Silva's unit has been conducting several meetings similar to this one throughout the province to help the Afghan National Police boost security for the August elections. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eugene H. Cushing
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Army 1st Lt. Michael T. Nicholson, platoon leader for 2nd Platoon, 984th Military Police Company, 759th Military Police Battalion, led his unit in a district partnership training with the Afghan police July 14 and 15 at the Manogai Police Station.

Nicholson, of Burnsville, Minn., said the goal of the training was to ensure Afghan police are able to effectively operate on their own during the scheduled Aug. 20 elections.

The soldiers conducted two days of training with the Afghan police, said Army Sgt. Christopher C. Silva, of Boston, a squad leader with 2nd platoon. On the first day, they met with the police chief and his officers and assessed the station’s armament, personnel and facilities.

“The second day we finished the assessment and started training for the elections,” Silva said.

The training included instruction on personnel, vehicle and building searches; reacting to explosive devices and small-arms fire; setting up and operating checkpoints; administering first aid; emergency response; crowd control; and force protection.

Afghan National Police Maj. Sali Mohammed, the operations officer for Shigal district police station, said the training was highly beneficial.

The Afghan police officers will take what they learned back to their police stations and train their fellow officers, Mohammed said.

Army Cpl. Marcus R. Bennett, of Thermopolis, Wyo., a team leader assigned to 2nd Platoon, is an experienced military policeman who said he was glad to share his knowledge with his Afghan counterparts.

Bennett said he taught the Afghan police how to search for weapons, explosives, drugs and other potentially dangerous items.

“I enjoyed working with the Afghans,” he said. “That was the first time I got to get out and teach them.”

Nicholson described the Afghan police as motivated and willing to learn.

“They’re very friendly,” he said. “They share everything they know. They’re willing to try the stuff we teach them, so it’s been very positive.”

(Army Spc. Eugene H. Cushing serves in the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)

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Related Sites:
U.S. Forces Afghanistan
U.S. Forces Afghanistan on Twitter
U.S. Forces Afghanistan on Facebook
U.S. Forces Afghanistan on YouTube
NATO International Security Assistance Force
Combined Joint Task Force 82

Click photo for screen-resolution imageTwo Afghan National Police officers practice search techniques at the Manogai Police Station in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, July 15, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eugene H. Cushing  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Cpl. Nicholas E. Cox demonstrates proper police techniques to Afghan National Police officers during training at the Manogai Police Station in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, July 15, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Eugene H. Cushing  
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