KABUL, Afghanistan – Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Forward Operating Base Frontenac, provide security for Checkpoint 18, a paved bridge crossing over the Arghandab river and section of Route Bear in Uruzgan province.
Checkpoint 18 is the north-south route connecting Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces.
“In my opinion, if this checkpoint wasn’t here, the insurgents would blow up the bridge.” said 1st Lt. Andrew Murphree, the 2nd Platoon leader. “Here at Checkpoint 18 our mission is to provide security and a freedom of movement patrol on route bear as well as working in partnership with the Afghan National Police.”
“The local citizens enjoy the security the check point provides.” Murphree added. “Not only do we secure the bridge, but we secure the market, which for some is their only means of commerce.”
At Checkpoint 18, the mountains to their left and the river behind them aren’t the only things surrounding the soldiers from 2nd Platoon of Outlaw Troop. The insurgents are out there too.
The ever present danger highlights the need for a strong local security presence. 2nd Platoon, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, routinely works with the local offices of the Afghan National Police, conducting partnered patrols and training the officers to provide an independent security presence in anticipation of the day when there are no U.S. or coalition forces in the area.
“I have a lot of respect for the Afghan police at the northern checkpoint just up the road from here and I look forward to working with them in the future,” Murphree said.