News: Apollo Company partners with Afghan Uniformed Polic
Story by Sgt. Ruth Pagan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Soldiers with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, partner daily with the Afghan Uniformed Police to perform foot patrols in the Dand District.
“The AUP are outstanding,” said Staff Sgt. Mario Vanhaastert, a squad leader with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment. “They never complain, always want to go on patrol and are willing to lead.”
The soldiers and AUP conduct dismounted foot patrols as well as set up check points.
“We make sure the AUP are out front leading our patrols,” said Cpl. Cody Henry, an infantry team leader with Company A.
“The AUP take initiative nine out of 10 times,” Vanhaastert said.
“We don’t have to tell them to patrol; they just do it on their own.”
Soldiers instruct the AUP on security procedures, as well as different equipment systems like the hand-held metal detector.
“Their front and rear security on dismounted movements is really good and is getting better the more we work with them,” said Spc. Jesus Arrendondo, a scout with Company A.
“I’ve seen these guys at Check Point 14-1 out doing their own patrols and check points and they seem to have it under control,” said Henry.
The soldiers and AUP not only work hand-in-hand they enjoy working together.
“I enjoy working with them because they are friendly and professional,” Arrendondo said.
“I have learned a lot working with the soldiers,” said Sgt. Abdual Khalil, an AUP officer from Check Point 14-1, Sub District 7 of Kandahar City. “They are my friends.”
“We enjoy working with these guys and they take a lot of pride in their area and secure it the best they can,” Henry said.