FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Helmand Province, Afghanistan — British Royal Marine Lt. Gen. Jim Dutton, International Security Assistance Force deputy commander, visited Forward Operating Base Delhi and spoke with the Garmsir District governor Haji Abdullah Jan during a walk through the district center Sept. 3.
When he arrived, Marines were already geared up and ready to escort him out into town.
During the short hike into the town Lt. Col. Christian G. Cabaniss, the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 3, pointed out many of the improvements that had been made in the months his battalion has been here, as well as what previous forces here before had done.
Capt. Micajoh P. Caskey, civil affairs officer with 2/8, said, "The reason for the general's visit was to see the changes within the Garmsir District."
The streets were filled with people going about their daily routine. Cabaniss took Dutton to a small ice cream shop which had opened up a few weeks earlier. According to Cabaniss, this small shop being open is a symbol of how the Garmsir District becoming safer for locals and changing for the better. Caskey echoed the sentiment, saying the ice-cream shop is a sure sign life in the town is improving, because the shop owner's success relies on disposable income rather than selling things people need to survive.
While at the ice-cream shop, Haji Jan met up with Cabaniss and Dutton and accompanied them on their walk through the town adding his input to the conversation.
Dutton asked the governor many questions about their district's growth and improvements and was impressed with the progress he heard.
According to Caskey, looking at this little town with the streets lined with venders and kids running up and down the streets, it is amazing to think that only 20 months ago none of this was here. At that time, when 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit first got here, the shops were empty and people were afraid to spend time outdoors.
He added, this change can be directly attributed to the Marines who have consistently worked with the Afghan national security forces to bring about this environment of safety and security.
After only an hour of walking and talking through town, Dutton had to leave to catch his flight. Both he and Haji Jan parted with smiles, and as fast as the ISAF deputy had shown up that morning, he was gone — helicoptering back to his headquarters in Kabul. Taking back his experience to the staff and government there to report that Garmsir was no longer the lawless trouble spot it once was. The people of Garmsir and the Marines are making progress, and the situation is well in hand.
|Date Posted:||09.14.2009 02:54|
|Location:||FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, AF|
This work, International Security Assistance Force deputy meets with Garmsir District governor, by Cpl Daniel Flynn, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.