News: Marines, Afghan police patrol in Musa Qa’leh
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – Marines with Police Advisor Team 2, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, conducted a partnered patrol with the Afghan National Police, May 2.
“Our main purpose of the patrol was to get atmospherics of the bazaar and also to identify issues at the district headquarters,” said Gunnery Sgt. Tyrone T. Judge II, senior enlisted member of PAT 2. “We were looking for … anything out of the norm.”
The patrol had a mix of Afghan National Security Forces and U.S. Forces. The partnership is mutually beneficial. The Marines teach the Afghans tactics and military operations, and the Afghan police teach the Marines about the local culture.
“I love going out on patrol with ANSF,” said Judge, 33, from Clarkton N.C. “They are really smart when it comes to what we need to avoid, they know where (improvised explosive devices) are, and they let us know when things are not normal.”
The PAT is responsible for training the local ANP, who will be taking full police responsibility in the area when they become completely independent in the near future.
“It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s not something they are not capable of,” said Judge. “It just takes a little more patience than it does to train Marines.”
The work the Marines put in on mentoring the police force may take more patience, but it’s still effective.
“The ANP are really easy to get along with,” said Sgt. Lynn A. Baird III, communications chief, PAT 2. “They are really picking up what we teach them the more time we spend with them.”
While Marines build the skills of the police, they also build relationships with their Afghan counterparts.
“The majority of them love us,” said Judge. “We actually joke around with each other, and we’ve become good friends. When you see them over and over again, they are quick to talk to you. They are always curious about our culture and share about their culture as well.”
The Marines say they are confident in their counterparts and trust them with their lives.
“They are really good at searching vehicles, talking to people and finding IEDs,” said Baird, 23, from Memphis, Tenn. “I think they’ll be okay once we leave.”
Editor’s Note: Second Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment is part of Regimental Combat Team 6. RCT-6 falls under 1st Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.