CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The Afghan national army and coalition forces conducted a security patrol around a newly formed patrol base in an area south of Gereshk, Afghanistan, Jan. 3.
The security patrols are designed to increase the level of security around the newly established patrol base. The patrol base is part of an Afghan national army-led operation, which started, Dec. 27. The estimated time for the initial security of the patrol base was set at three days, but the ANA was able to complete it in 24 hours.
“The patrol base gives us the opportunity to dominate and control the area the way we would like to,” said Maj. Matt Collins, 38, from Winsor, Berkshire United Kingdom, and the 3rd Kandak advisor.
Collins said the British have taken a step back so that the ANA can gain confidence that they are capable of leading operations. He also said that it is important that the ANA lead operations so that the local nationals realize that it is Afghans and not coalition forces that are delivering the security in the area.
“The insurgents have by and large melted away in the face of an overriding Afghan troop presence,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Ghika, the commanding officer of the Brigade Advisory group for 3rd Battalion 215th Corps.
“Operations are so important because we capture lots of insurgents during them while also helping to bring peace to our country,” said Sgt. Ghulmfarooq, 27, from Logar province, part of the 3rd Kandak counter improvised explosive device team.
Ghulmfarooq said the CIED team is important because it gives the ANA the skills to go on patrols and operations on their own instead of having to rely on coalition forces to help them.
“We have an independent country so we need to know how find IEDs so that we can conduct our own patrols,” said Ghulmfarooq.
So, far coalition advisors are impressed with the ANA’s performance.
“The combat capabilities and infantry skills of the Afghan soldier are now so good that in many cases the advisors have to take very little part,” said Ghika.