Afghan Security Forces plan and execute joint operation
Afghan National Security Forces continue to provide safety and security for Afghan locals. Evidence of this occurred when soldiers of 3rd Kandak, 4th Brigade, 205th Corps Afghan National Army conducted a clearance operation on Sept. 7 in Khas Uruzgan district, Afghanistan.
The 4th Brigade displayed its ability to conduct mission planning from the brigade level down to the platoon level.
"The enthusiasm that the ANA engineers have shown throughout the clearance operation has been excellent. Their drive and determination has been infectious throughout the whole clearance force and the results can be seen in the finds of weapons and caches they have picked up," said Lt. Tim Glover, Mobile Advisory Group commander, Mentoring Team Charlie, 3rd Royal Australian Regiment Task Group.
During this operation Afghan National Security Forces successfully searched and cleared over thirty structures, detonated one IED (without injury), and uncovered three weapons caches.
"My experiences of operating with the ANSF have been positive,” Glover said. “They are a relatively new army and police force who are keen to draw on our experiences and implement them in their own way."
The strong relationship between coalition forces and Afghan security forces stems from mutual respect on both sides.
"Once you accept that the ANA has a unique way of conducting operations and get on board to assist them with their way instead of yours, the benefits outweigh the negatives,” Glover said.
This positive attitude and partnership works at all levels of command.
"The co-operation shown by the junior officers of the infantry and engineer kandaks is very promising,” Glover said. “With a few more opportunities to work together on combined ops this partnership will flourish and provide positive results in the future.”
Positive rapport is important internally and externally with the Afghan security forces.
“We have a really strong relationship with the locals here due to the fact that we treat them with respect,” said 1st Lt. Abdul Rahman, 1st Toley Commander, 3rd Kandak, 4th Brigade. “If an individual is a Talib, we treat them as such and we will make sure that they are held accountable by the law. We do searches just like the police. We search houses, we search people and we make sure we don’t take anything or disrespect anybody.”
Afghan army participants were augmented by the Afghan National Police in a display of unity during the joint, two-day operation that resulted in the successful clearance of over 30 compounds in the region.
“Our relationship with the police is good,” Glover said. “We always help them whenever they need our assistance.”
Based on his experience working in Khas Uruzgan, Rahman gives advice to ensure the future success of the Afghan security forces.
“The operation is going well because the police are not from Khas Uruzgan,” Rahman said.
Rahman explained how the Afghan residents are less accepting of local police searching their homes because many times they are related or old friends and this causes a conflict of interest.
“Switching the district police from here with another district’s police will receive greater local acceptance and cooperation,” said Rahman.
The young commander spoke strongly for his cause.
“I know very well that if the ANA leaves this area will be taken over [by Taliban] in a matter of two days… two days. Even if the ANA has nothing, what we do have is our reputation, our name alone puts fear into people and the people look at us with respect because we respect the people. If you respect somebody, in return you will get respect,” Rahman said.
Rahman thinks that improvements can and will come if positive communication is upheld between the Afghan government, the security forces, and the people.
He said, “I want to tell the people to serve and help the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, don’t let the enemy roam free, show us where the enemy is so we can build and defend our country ourselves.”
Article by 1st Lt. Cari Butler, 117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment