News: TF Gold Geronimo; Chosen Company train ABP
Story by Staff Sgt. Jason Epperson
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - With summer quickly approaching, paratroopers of Chosen Company, 3rd Bn. (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Gold Geronimo, waste no time in sharing their skills and training the Afghan border police at the Taji District ABP headquarters located near Combat Outpost Herrera March 27.
Javin Morton, an Afghan fielded police mentor from Fayetteville, N.C., traveled with the paratroopers assigned to 2nd Platoon less than a quarter mile from COP Herrera to the ABP headquarters to provide basic police training.
“We are showing them how to handle weapons properly and how to search people,” Morton said. “After the searching, we [teach] handcuffing. We wanted to show them that not everyone is going to be compliant every time they go out to search somebody.”
This training teaches the ABP how to keep positive control over somebody while searching them and how to remain safe, according to Morton, who said they are trying to start from the ground up.
Morton admits there are certain challenges training the Afghan border police.
“The language barrier definitely,” Morton said. “Sometimes you’ll say one sentence and your interpreter will say a whole paragraph.”
Morton has experience both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I’ve been a cop for five years with the Fayetteville Police Department, near Fort Bragg, N.C.,” Morton explained. “Before that I did this same mission in Iraq when I was with my unit back then. I trained Iraqi police and Iraqi National Guard. “
Morton said the Afghan counterparts are catching on to the new tactics, “Every time we do training, we try to go back over what we did the last time and then add more to it. It seems like they’re starting to catch on to our training now.”
The Jaji districts ABP Sergeant Major Kheyal Mohammad says the ABP have a strong coordination with ISAF, Afghan National Police and National Directorate Security.
“We all together are a strong force and can effectively defend this country.” Mohammad said.
Mohammad was satisfied with the training his policemen received and hopes his men will receive more training in the future.
“We appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of the U.S. military as they have helped us in restoring peace and stability to our country,” Mohammad added. “We can effectively assume the security responsibilities of our country, only when we have enough training, air support and heavy weaponry.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Ure, who hails from Long Beach, Calif., and is a squad leader assigned to 2nd Platoon, TF Gold Geronimo, gave the ABP instructional training on American infantry tactics.
“We covered moving techniques, both bounding and traveling overwatch,” Ure said. “We also covered the importance of bounding as well as separation and remaining in control of your group. “
Ure patrols regularly with the Afghan counterparts and notices differences between their forces and the Americans.
“A lot of times we go out with them and they group up or they’ll do some things that we generally don’t do and discourage doing for safety reasons,” Ure said. “A lot of times, they’re just doing what feels right rather than what they’re trained to do. They haven’t gone through the training we’ve gone through. Most things we do is as a group or with them, so anything they’re doing different is what we’re doing differently."
“We need to work together as a team,” Ure added “As good as they are, is as good as we are.”