News: Afghan security forces take lead in Helmand
Story by Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite
HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. forces transitioned their last remaining Village Stability Platform in Helmand to Afghan forces Sept.15 in Nahr-e Saraj district.
Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade, 215th Afghan National Army Corps established Patrol Base Rahim after District Gov. Mohammed Fahim requested the transfer less than a month ago, said 1st Lt. Abdul Nasir Rashiq, an ANA officer with the unit.
“Today marks the transition of the last VSP in the province to the control of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said an Afghan National Army Special Forces team leader during the transition.
U.S. forces built the platform to connect villagers to district leaders to improve local security, development, and governance in Afghanistan.
Afghan Special Forces soldiers guided more than 50 ANA soldiers to defensive positions in the compound and assisted with establishing security sectors after U.S. forces relocated closer to the district center.
“We will interact with the Afghan Local Police and ANASF on a daily basis in order to support and reinforce each other mutually,” said Rashiq.
ANA leaders vowed to support ALP checkpoints in the area with mortar fire, and emphasized the importance of a strong working relationship.
“The realignment of coalition forces will not affect security,” added Rashiq. “Our daily communications will continue and relationships will remain strong in support of GIRoA.”
U.S. forces plan to support Afghan National Security Forces by improving the efficiency of Operational Coordination Centers and facilitating communication between district and provincial leaders.
This would not be possible without the recent security gains by Commandos of the 7th Special Operations Kandak and local police under the command of Capt. Saymand Hekmatullah, district police chief.
The Commandos conducted four operations in the last month to support the transition.
“The enemy tried to make the district a miserable place,” said Hekmatullah. “Now the Taliban are having difficulty conducting operations in the area because of the increased security.”
Afghan security forces have now assumed sole responsibility of security in the Upper Gereshk Valley.