News: ANSF, ISAF patrol Kandahar to keep residents safe
Story by Pfc. Nathan Thome
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces, in partnership with International Security Assistance Forces, conducted joint-patrols March 9 – March 14 throughout sub-district seven of Kandahar City to find improvised explosive devices, caches, and collect atmospherics of the surrounding communities
The goals of these partnered patrols are to keep residents safe and to gain information on any insurgent activities.
“The main purpose of these patrols is to keep the people safe,” said Staff Sgt. Nate Osborne, squad leader, 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “Their safety takes precedence over everything else.”
Osborne added when the soldiers go out on these patrols, they are teaching the Afghan National Civil Order Police to look for signs of tampered structures and roads because they could be indicators of possible IEDs or hidden caches.
“We look for IEDs because it isn’t just security forces that are being harmed by them,” said Capt. Ryan Calhoon, commander, A Company, 1st Bn, 22nd IN, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “These IEDs are meant for us, but are injuring the men, women and children who take a step in the wrong spot.
Calhoon added, the partnered patrols also look for the source of these IEDs by finding caches which could contain materials to fabricate them.
Throughout seven patrols, the joint-security forces searched every orchard and abandoned compound for hidden weapons caches.
“When we look for caches, we collect and destroy anything that could be used to harm the Afghan people or hinder security forces,” said Osborne. “One of the ways we find these caches is with the help of the Afghan people.”
ANCOP and 1st Bn, 22nd IN soldiers would sit down with the Afghan people to talk with them about their views of the security forces and about any information they might have on IEDs, weapons caches or insurgent activities.
“The main things we want to know from the people is if they are being threatened by the insurgents to set IEDs, hide weapons or not help security forces,” said Osborne. “
When security forces sit down with the residents, they’re building a rapport with them, said Osborne. They ask questions about the area and what they need to improve security.
To provide better security, we ask the people if they have seen anyone out of place or other suspicious activity in the area, said Calhoon.
Residents are encouraged to go to the police sub-stations and checkpoints if they have any information on IEDs, caches or any other insurgent activities Calhoon added.
“The main message we reiterate to the Afghan people is that we are here to protect them,” said Calhoon. “The information they provide us will not only keep them safe, but bring them one step closer to living in a safer, more secure life in Afghanistan.”