News: Supporting missions in Afghanistan
Story by Capt. Gina Goris
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan – The U.S. Security Advisory Team members are learning about the Afghan culture and overcoming language barriers as they help the Afghan police force become a self-sustained police force within the Chorah district of Afghanistan.
Since November, team members under the command of Maj. Timothy Redhair and senior noncommissioned officer Sgt. 1st Class Bloom, have been helping the Afghan Uniform Police improve their service and support operations.
“We are focusing on the logistical, medical and communication support in an effort to ensure the Afghans become self sufficient prior to U.S. forces withdrawing in 2014,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bloom, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Early in the deployment, the language barrier was challenging for the soldiers who come from the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team out of the Texas National Guard.
“We have translators assigned to our team who have helped ensure that the information is received and not lost in translation,” Bloom said.
The interpreters translate the medical training led by U.S. combat medic Spc. Valdez Leopoldo into concepts that ensure Afghans improve their medical skills.
“My role as an adviser is to teach Afghan officers how to prevent deaths and save lives, because in this harsh environment initial treatment on the battle field is key to sustaining lives,” said Spc. Valdez Leopoldo, 56th IBCT.
Leopoldo receives help from the medics from C Company 2-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion.
“With the efforts from the Charlie medics, I am able to focus on training a couple of Afghan police officers so they can train their own battle buddies. Many of the AUP are taking the information presented and teaching other officers out at the checkpoints,” said Leopoldo.
While Afghans conduct medical training, they are also educated on the importance of having the proper equipment available during operations.
“As the logistical adviser my job is to teach the Afghans to ensure the Afghan Uniform Police believe in their supply system; I teach them how to create a property book, account for weapons and ammunition and teach the Afghans how to request equipment via the MOI 14 form, which by the way is the backbone of the Afghan logistical system,” said 1st Lt. Arnulfo I. Villanueva
“We listen to their ideas, give them suggestions, and help them build their own plan,” Villanueva said.
The men of the SFAT have learned a lot about Afghanistan, its people, and strive to ensure the AUP accomplish their mission.
“Through working one on one with the Afghan police we are able to provide knowledge and tools that will make them confident in themselves and their ability to maintain a positive future for the Afghan people,” said Maj. Timothy Redhair.