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    Specialized 'Route Clearance' Units Conduct Joint Missions with Afghan Forces



    Story by 1st Lt. Brian MacKey 

    20th Engineer Battalion

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The 20th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Lumberjack, based in Kandahar, Afghanistan, is incorporating Afghan forces into the specialized route clearance patrols it conducts to discover and eliminate roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices. According to the commander, Lt. Col. Pete Andrysiak, the goal is to include Afghan national security forces in 100 percent of missions, in accordance with the intent of the higher commanders in Regional Command South.

    Although partnering with Allied forces is nothing new for the Afghans, as they increase their capabilities and competency, International Security Assistance Force units are involving Afghan personnel more often in specialized, intricate operations than in the past.

    The partnership benefits the Afghan military, ISAF Counter-IED efforts, and the civilian population as a whole. The Afghan soldiers learn new skills and proven techniques for dealing with the IED--a deadly and indiscriminate threat to everyone. In addition, they are also taking on increased responsibility for keeping their own towns and roadways safe--as well as the pride that goes along with overseeing the security of a community by fighting IEDs themselves.

    ISAF route clearance units gain the benefit of having Afghan personnel available who know the people and the terrain better than anyone, which is vital to locating IEDs before they are stumbled upon by local civilians or friendly units.

    The greatest beneficiaries are the Afghan people themselves, who not only see their lands kept safe cooperatively, but also know that the responsibility of security - especially against IEDs - will be continued by their own military long after international forces depart.



    Date Taken: 04.20.2010
    Date Posted: 04.20.2010 12:15
    Story ID: 48416
    Location: KANDAHAR, AF 

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