News: PMT Marines help Afghan Border Police succeed
Story by Cpl. Daniel Flynn
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Helmand Province, Afghanistan — The Afghan border police are still developing and learning what they need to know to become a self-sufficient police force.
Helping the ABP learn everything from patrolling and weapons handling to leadership and logistics are the Police Mentoring Team, who call themselves "Rincon" — a unit put together specifically to mentor, advise, support and train them.
The name "Rincon" comes from a tidal break off the California coast. Since most of the team members are surfers, the nickname stuck, according to Sgt. James Renwand, PMT platoon sergeant, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 3.
Most of the Marines were originally part of the RCT-3 personal security detail. The rest are augmentees from 2/8's PSD. Almost all of them are noncommissioned officers, so teaching small unit leadership to the ABP is a perfect fit.
"Originally, I thought we would be working with about a squad-sized team of ABP, teaching them patrolling and fighting tactics," said Renwand. "But we got put over two battalions of ABP, and we mainly teach them the logistical side, like how to properly fill out the forms to get supplies from their higher-ups."
While a lot of their jobs may consist of helping the ABP in logistical matters, they still teach the ABP military basics.
Many of these Marines have been trained and certified to be unique instructors, in the areas of foreign weapons and marksmanship, for example.
According to 1st Lt. Colin Duffy, platoon commander, once they teach the ABP something about patrolling, they take them out and observe how they apply what they have learned.
"I really enjoy being with the PMT," said Cpl. Evan Snead, originally 2/8 PSD now part of the PMT. "It gets me away from the flag pole, and I get to teach the ABP to do what they were formed for."
Every patrol the PMT Marines take the ABP on is a show of force, which allows the locals to see Afghans, alongside the Marines, taking responsibility for the safety and security of the surrounding a villages.
With all NCO's and one lieutenant in the PMT, the unit runs smoothly. They are able to accomplish their mission with very few complications because everyone knows what they are supposed to do, according to Renwand.
With the help of the PMT Marines, the ABP are developing into a well-trained police force with the knowledge and experience they need to support themselves.