News: US, Afghan soldiers train for better security
Story by Sgt. Bob Yarbrough
CAMP MAIWAND, Afghanistan – Ten Afghan soldiers from the unit responsible for the security of Camp Maiwand, Logar Province, Afghanistan received training to improve their entry control point procedures on April 2, at the main entry point of their home base.
Prior to the training, the U.S. Security Forces Advise and Assist Team assigned to Camp Maiwand worked alongside the Afghan Garrison Support Unit in overhauling security on their main entry point.
U.S. Army Sgt.1st Class Luis Robles, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and the 4th Brigade Garrison Support Unit advisor with SFAAT 1, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said, “One thing I’ve noticed since we started working on the ECP was that they took ownership, and started doing it themselves really quickly. As an adviser, that’s something you look for.”
The training consisted of three U.S. Army noncommissioned officers training five Afghan National Army NCOs, and five ANA privates on the proper procedures for stopping a vehicle approaching the gate to their base, and what to do afterwards. This included searching both military and civilian vehicles, and searching individuals who either arrive in those vehicles or on foot.
Robles was the lead instructor for the morning’s training. He gave the first block of instruction, which was on vehicle checkpoint procedures. He instructed the Afghan soldiers on how to properly stop a vehicle and what to look for in and around the vehicle. He explained the differences between searching a military vehicle and a civilian vehicle, as well as why all searches are important and should be conducted in a serious and thorough manner.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Lucas Worthy, a native of Stuart, Fla., and a military policeman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th IBCT, instructed the ANA soldiers on searching an individual. He expressed the importance of using another soldier as an added security measure, and demonstrated proper techniques for disarming and disabling a possible threat.
“With this training, the Afghans are steadily improving,” Worthy said. “They already showed signs of knowledge of what they’re doing. I think they’ll be able to pass it on to their soldiers and it will be really effective.”
U.S. Army Spc. Josue Rivera, an infantryman with HHC, 4th IBCT, and a native of Lansdale, Pa., explained the importance of being watchful while on guard, and reporting anything suspicious. Rivera also went through what it means to be properly relieved of guard duty.
Rivera gave this training, and also served as the assistant instructor for Worthy’s class on searching individuals. The day’s training concluded with the standing orders that apply to all guards.
“This training was valuable because the Afghans worked hand in hand with us and helped to secure the FOB better than it was,” said Rivera.
Afghan National Army Staff Sgt. Ainudin Characiawall, an infantryman in a security coy with 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps, and a native of Kabul, Afghanistan, said, “It was very good, we learned many things today like how to stop the vehicle, how to search the vehicle, and how to search a person.” Characiawall added, “It will help everybody, especially us, so when the enemy comes, we know how to act against them.”
The ANA soldiers present were assessed on their ability to properly search vehicles and individuals, and were presented with certificates of training during a ceremony that doubled as the official opening of their main entry control point. ANA Col. Muhammad Zaman Malang, Garrison Support Unit commander for the 4th Bde., 203rd Corps and Robles cut a ceremonial ribbon to commemorate the partnership and hard work that went into improving the entry control point.
The training and ceremony marked a step toward complete mission readiness and independence for the ANA’s 4th Bde., 203rd Corps.