News: Afghan commandos assume full security lead in Herat’s Zerekoh valley
Story by Staff Sgt. Richard Lower
HERAT PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan commandos from the 4th Special Operations Kandak assumed control of Village Stability Platform Parmakan Sept. 26 in Herat province’s Shindand district.
Afghan National Army special forces and U.S. Special Operations members held a transfer of authority ceremony to celebrate an iconic moment in Afghanistan’s history. International Security Assistance Forces Commander U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. attended the ceremony.
The change in leadership embodies the United States and NATO’s ongoing security transition operations in Afghanistan, underscoring the Afghan government’s efforts towards eventually taking the lead for security throughout the entire country.
“Our capabilities greatly exceed that of our enemies,” said 4th Special Operations Kandak commander Lt. Col. Saifullah Najribi. “All we need to do is wear our uniform with pride and a sense of patriotism.”
Najribi praised ANASF operators for their ferocity in battle, saying Taliban rebels know to flee the isolated valley when they hear Afghan Special Forces’ engines in the distance.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Forces implemented village stability operations to bring safety and stability to Afghanistan’s more remote and rural villages. These platforms play a vital role in ISAF’s comprehensive campaign of counterinsurgency, bringing the fight to militants in the remote regions they call home.
VSP Parmakan was established April 9, 2010, and served as the original Afghan Local Police training site. There are currently more than 24,000 ALP officers serving throughout Afghanistan, according to a U.S. forces report on ALP.
The site currently serves as the main staging point for counterinsurgency operations in Zerekoh valley.