News: Soldiers’ roles decline as ANSF steps up
Story by Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus
COMBAT OUTPOST WARE, Afghanistan - The sun had yet to rise over the mountains surrounding the Arghandab Valley in Kandahar province as soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Courage Company, 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, prepared for one of their final missions in early June. The soldiers partnered with squads from the Afghan National Army and Afghan Local Police to patrol the local village of Jeleran.
“The ANA had made coordination to clear the village,” said 2nd Lt. Brandon Arny, 2nd Platoon platoon leader. “As they moved through the village, we conducted biometric operations, which is entering individuals into the seek system.”
As the mission seemed to draw to a close, however, the local forces received reports of an improvised explosive device in a nearby orchard.
“The ANA and ALP located the IED and called us to verify it,” said Arny. “We sent a squad out there with an explosive dog and the mine-hound, and verified that it was an IED.”
From there, the mission was passed back to Afghan forces, as they’re gradually taking the lead in preparation for the American force drawdown.
“Their explosive ordinance team moved out to the orchard and blew the IED in place,” said Arny.
Monumental improvements have been made with the Afghan National Security Forces over the last few years, as they strive for independence.
“The biggest improvement I would say is their willingness to work with each other,” said Arny. “They are both eager to work together to ensure the safety and security of the village is there.”