News: Arghandab residents build relationships, security with ANSF, ISAF
Story by Pfc. Nathan Thome
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces, in partnership with International Security Assistance Forces, worked together with residents of the Lowy Manarah village in the Arghandab district Jan. 9, to build a combat outpost.
Construction of the outpost is slated to be completed in the coming weeks and will provide a permanent joint Afghan-US security presence in the village and its surrounding communities.
Task Force ‘Iron Knights,’ of 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, received permission from the village to build a secure compound which would offer security, employment opportunities and a place to address issues with local authorities.
Before construction began, 1-66AR distributed supplies at the site of the new outpost in order to generate the population’s interest and support, said Capt. David Ahern, commander, Company A, 1-66AR, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
Construction of the outpost began with the help of local residents of the village. They played a significant role in the building efforts by operating the heavy machinery, transporting equipment around the site and helping the soldiers set up perimeter barriers.
“We’ve done something that not many have done before, in that we’ve included the entire village in constructing the new outpost,” said Ahern. “The residents have shown how appreciative they are by participating in the building efforts.”
Ahern went on to say that the residents like the idea of the outpost and how the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has taken an interest in their village’s security.
“This project gave the ANA and ANP the opportunity to work together and strengthen their partnership as well as their ability to provide security for the people,” said 1st Lt. Brian Miraglia, platoon leader, Company A, 1-66AR, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “This will help them to achieve their overall goal of taking over security without the assistance of coalition forces.”
In the past, insurgents used the village as a sanctuary, because it was far away from security forces, said Miraglia. The village is also close enough to the dense orchards that insurgents use to hide when we came through on patrols, only to return to the village when we left.
“With security forces permanently residing in the village, we hope to exterminate insurgent activity so the residents won’t have to live in fear,” said Miraglia. “The people are supportive of this and are doing what they can to help achieve this goal.”