GARMSIR DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - In late May, members of the Afghanistan National Police detained four members of insurgent forces here. Two of those detained were high value individuals wanted by both the ANP and 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.
Police Maj. Gen. Mullah Khil, the deputy regional chief of police of the 707th Afghan Uniformed Police Region, and Garmsir District Governor Mohammed Fahim awarded the policemen at the District Headquarters Building, July 3. More than 100 local elders, shop owners and community members attended the ceremony.
The policemen captured and detained the insurgents while conducting vehicle checkpoints in the desert to the east of the district. Along with the detainees, two of which were local insurgent leaders, the police found improvised explosive device material and weapons. There was enough material to make roughly 20 IEDs.
For Capt. Jason Hoffman, the ceremony had a bigger meaning than awards. Hoffman, the commanding officer of the Police Advisory Team for 1/3, said the success of his Afghan brothers-in-arms gives him a sense of pride. He admires their continued hard work and is encouraged to see the public's recognition of local security efforts.
“These guys are working hard out here,” said Hoffman, a native of Johnson City, Tenn. “They are standing up and defending their country. They face IEDs and ambushes and volunteer for it and you have to respect that.”
Hoffman also realized the threat that would still affect everyone in the district if not for the efforts of the policemen.
“By taking the [insurgent leaders] and IED material off the street, these policemen have saved a lot of lives,” Hoffman said. “It was a real good catch.”