News: Afghan National Police working with Soldiers in partnership
Story by Pfc. Cynthia Teears Van Cleve
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Police and members of the International Security Assistance Force in Kunduz work together regularly, turning a mentorship into a partnership while successfully securing the city.
There are four ANP precincts in the city and there is a different ISAF unit assigned to each one. This helps the ANP form a relationship of respect and understanding the ISAF members, and teaches both groups how to work together.
“We have the same target,” said Abdul Majid, the chief, Precinct 1, ANP of Kunduz. “We want to work with the Americans.”
Last year the police force did not have much of the required security force equipment, Majid said. This year however, they have more equipment and training and ISAF are fighting with them.
“This year we feel strong because the mentors are here,” Majid said. “Last year the Taliban were here and we were weak.”
This relationship, which started as a mentorship, has successfully become more of a partnership with the ANP stepping up and taking the lead.
“When we first went out with the police on patrol they were a little bit more relaxed,” said Pfc. Brian Dina from Chicago, Ill., a gunner of the weapons squad, 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. “Now they’re more cognizant of their surroundings. They’re more aware of what they have to do. They kind of copied us a little bit more.”
Having members of ISAF there to support the ANP efforts encourages them to continue and not get discouraged.
“The Americans are very helpful because they can come with us and fight,” Majid said. “Actually they behave very good together. They are not mentors, they are friends, partners, and any operation they are ready to help."
Precinct 1 has had a few setbacks, but is continuing to keep their area safe and secure for the people of the city.
"The reason I say that they are friends is because the day that I lost two of my best men they were sad with us and felt bad for me and my men,” Majid explained.
Some units have had more success than others in getting the AUP to understand their role in security and what it takes to maintain that security.
“They’ve been working pretty good,” said Pvt. Alexander Reyes from Phoenix, Ariz., an infantryman, 1st Platoon, C Company, 1-87. “They’re doing morning patrols and night patrols.”
The relationship between the ANP and the Soldiers is good, and even though they don't always understand each other’s language they still communicate.
"The language barrier is there, but it isn’t," Dina said. "I’ve noticed a big change. It’s actually pretty peaceful. It’s not what I thought it’d be. They do a good job from what I see. I enjoy the culture because it’s different so I try to learn. With the gestures we kind of get what they are saying, from what I can tell they like us and we like them.”
Most of the negative activity is outside the city, said Dina. Actually, Kunduz city is pretty peaceful.
In the city there are projects where ANP and members of ISAF work together to help local organizations. One of the projects being developed is to organize the building and funding for a new greenhouse for the local university.
According to, Naqib Ashurie, the interpreter for 1st Platoon, C Company, 1-87, the university wants a greenhouse built that is approximately ten meters long and four meters wide.
"We’re not going to build the greenhouse just for flowers," said Abdul Qudus, the dean of the Higher Education of Kunduz. "It will be multipurpose, for some trees too. Our students really need a greenhouse to learn from our teachers. Right now we are studying things theoretically, but not practically.”
With this greenhouse students will be able to put what they have learned theoretically to practical use. This will give the students a better idea of what it takes to grow plants for food as well.
As city projects like this work and flourish, it’s sure sign that the partnership between the ANP and ISAF is making the region more safe and secure.