News: Marine engineers construct base of operations for Afghan policemen
Story by Lance Cpl. Jerrick J. Griffin
MARJAH, Afghanistan – Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), constructed a combat outpost for members of the Afghan Uniformed Police in Marjah, Afghanistan, Aug. 8-16.
During the 8-day project, the Marines constructed a perimeter, established an entry control point and built guard towers for the Afghan policemen to use as a police sub-station. They spent several hours each night fortifying the perimeter with Hesco barriers, operating bulldozers to clear the area and leveling the land.
The new outpost will give the Afghan Uniformed Police an area of their own to conduct security operations independent from coalition forces, said Capt. Jamin Bailey, executive officer, Engineer Support Company, 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD).
“This police precinct is a step forward for the Afghan Uniformed Police in Marjah,” said Bailey. “Up until this time they’ve been co-located with American forces. This is the first time that they’re going to have their own base of operations. It’s going to be a big step forward for independent operations for them within Marjah.”
The new police precinct will allow the Afghan policemen to step up and begin to take responsibility for security operations in their area of Helmand Province, added Staff Sgt Daniel Fletcher, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Heavy Equipment Platoon, 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD).
“This is an important step in this war, by separating the police from foreign forces so they can start taking more of the responsibility for their country,” said Fletcher.
“This will be something we’ll continue in the future, separating American forces and the Afghan police,” added Bailey.
Now that they have their own base of operations to work from, the Afghan policemen can do their part to help keep Marjah secure, which makes the Marines’ hard work to complete the combat outpost well worth it.
“They worked long hours without complaint,” said Bailey. “They did an excellent job and really established a good reputation for the battalion and the Marine Corps in Marjah.”