KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The 3rd Zone Afghan Border Police Security Force Assistance Team and the Afghan Border Police are working together to improve map-reading skills for all Afghan National Police in southern Afghanistan.
A group of 13 ANP members from different units throughout Regional Command (South) gathered inside a map-covered room Feb. 8, 2014, at the Joint Regional Afghan National Police Center, Kandahar, Afghanistan, ready to resume the map reading intelligence preparation operation environment course that they started just a week ago.
First Lieutenant Jonathan Ramey, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, who serves an intelligence advisor to the 3rd Zone ABP, helped facilitate the class and is co-teaching it with an ABP officer.
Captain Sadiq of the ABP, who assists teaching the class, was the inspiration behind facilitating the course for a small group of police at the JRAC.
“This is the second map reading class we have had,” Ramey said. “Capt. Sadiq is one of the best intel guys in RC(S); he knows a lot about what the enemy is doing and where they are. He can point to a map and tell where they are just by terrain association.”
Ramey is responsible for teaching a majority of the class with the help of a linguist and his ABP partner.
“One day during a (key leader engagement) Capt. Sadiq came up and asked, ‘What is this grid and how do I find it?’ It was then when we started to talk about teaching a class at the JRAC,” Ramey said.
The class has potential for significant improvements throughout ANP operations.
“This is a very good and valuable class. It will make going on missions (easier) … and will help us be successful to find our way,” 1st Lt. Shamahmud of the ANP said.
Having the ability to read a map with grid coordinates gives the ANP the capability to navigate within ten meters of the intended objective, instead of using terrain association to get to a general area, Ramey explained.
“Things like map reading and calling for fire are all very conceptual, so if we can get them to understand this concept, that is a win,” Ramey said. “For as little experience as they have on this subject, they are doing very well.”
Sadiq was quick to realize the importance of acquiring this valuable skill and recognizes the significance as he gets ready to graduate 13 more comrades from the second map-reading course.
“Last time, we graduated everyone, and everyone is doing very well in this class,” Sadiq said. “This is a very important skill to have for future operations. Being able to find terrain features and locate them will make it easier to execute missions.”
Although the course is nearly half over, it doesn’t keep the group of policemen from their dedication to the two-week mission.
“They are really into it; they are excited about it and it’s fun and exciting for me,” Ramey said. “I am very comfortable with maps, but this is my first time really teaching a training course, so as I am teaching them, they are teaching me. Of all the things I’ve done on this deployment, this will probably be one of my favorite things because I feel like I am helping them and making a difference.”
||FORT KNOX, KY, US
This work, Map-reading course brings success to ANP operations, by CPL Mariah Best, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.