News: ABP graduate from Red Currahee Team Leader Course
By U.S. Army Spc. Kimberly K. Menzies
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WAZA KWAH, Afghanistan - Eighteen Afghan border policemen graduated from the Task Force Red Currahee Team Leader Course taught by U.S. Army soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, in a ceremony Dec. 13 on Forward Operating Base Waza Kwah in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika province.
“I am very happy,” said Mohammad Ramazan, Red Currahee Team Leader Course honor graduate and an ABP non-commissioned officer. “Before, I did not know about being a professional ABP; I learned a lot and now will serve my homeland better as an ABP NCO.”
This course is important because it helps set up a good foundation and establish strong leadership, said U.S. Army Spc. Edgar Cruz, instructor and 3rd squad, 1st platoon leader from Company D, 1st Bn., 506th Inf. Regt., and Houston native.
In turn, these team leaders can return to their units and teach their policemen. If the cycle continues, it will help them legitimized the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, he said.
The hope is that these team leaders, and others like them, will learn good habits, be self-sustainable and build their own course within the force, said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael R. D’Agostino, instructor and weapons squad leader from Company D, 1st Bn., 506th Inf. Regt., and native of Madison Heights, Mich.
The course, attended by ABP team leaders, trained the policemen in subjects ranging from map reading and land navigation to military customs and courtesies.
“An ABP executive officer or non-commissioned officer from their unit comes and talks to them about their uniform fit and appearance standards,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Bryan C. Reeves, a senior instructor and platoon sergeant with Company D, 1st Bn., 506th Inf. Regt., and native of Houston.
“I learned a lot of military tactics,” said Ramazan.
“We teach the ABP things like basic rifle marksmanship, first aid, land navigation, how to perform mounted and dismounted patrols, and how to set up and properly maintain traffic control points,” said D’Agostino.
“The biggest challenge we faced with the course was the language barrier, a lot gets lost in translation,” said Reeves.
To overcome this obstacle, instructors took the core curriculum and taught using more physical demonstration versus just verbal instruction, he said. So far, the hands-on-training has helped the ABP team leaders absorb what they are being taught.
“We have an interpreter, but sometimes we use body language to explain a concept,” said Cruz. “Just like how we train [U.S.] soldiers, we do a lot of repetition with the ABP so that the training becomes muscle memory: an instinct.