Soldiers work with Afghan National Security Forces to secure Zhari District

1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment
Story by Staff Sgt. Justin Weaver

Date: 10.08.2009
Posted: 10.08.2009 02:03
News ID: 39808
On patrol

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan — U.S. and Canadian soldiers partnered with local Afghan national security forces to conduct an operation in the village of Pasab, located in the Zhari District.

Operation PASAB was one of the first operations conducted in this area by the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment since they moved from Forward Operating Base Ramrod to Forward Operating Base Wilson.

"The main focus of the mission was to talk with local villagers in their compounds so Taliban wouldn't be able to influence what they said by using intimidation," said Capt. Sam Shepherd, Headquarters Company commander, 1-12th Regiment. "We also wanted to clear the village of Pasab of weapons and improvised explosive making materials, link the people to the compounds using photos and full name, conduct a village assessment of their capabilities, and get the Afghan uniformed police out to show security."

The AUP work throughout each district and are responsible for maintaining public order and security, preventing and discovering crime, arresting suspects, protecting public and private property, and regulating road traffic.

By using the AUP and Afghan national army, Shepherd hopes to help build the Afghan's confidence in their own Soldiers.

"It's important for the people to have the trust and confidence in their government," said Shepherd, a 14-year veteran and native of Mesquite, Texas. "We have to link the people to their government by backing up the AUP and ANA. We have to show them that the government works and can be trusted."

Building that trust and confidence is one of the main goals of HHC, one of five companies operating under the 1-12 Battalion. Keeping the population safe is also something Shepherd hopes his company will achieve during their time here.

"The HHC area of responsibility is within walking distance of the district center," Shepherd said. "This area should be the safest place to be with the government being right here. We just have to get them to mesh and get the message out that the government is here and ready for them."

Re-building the Afghans confidence in their government, providing peace and stability and winning over the hearts and minds of the locals is what the Battalion aims to do throughout the next year.

For Maj. Chris Hormann, the 1-12 IN operations officer, he sees the shift from kinetic operations to non-kinetic operations as key to winning over the people. They plan to use that non-kinetic approach in the village of Senjaray.

"We are focusing on population centers where we can have the most impact," Hormann said, referring to Senjaray, which has a population of 10,000. "We are going to go into the village with a soft approach — protect the people from the insurgency — and help them fight against intimidation of the Taliban"

Once they have established security for the village, the Battalion will focus on meeting the needs of the villagers.

"We will identify the needs of the people, the threats in the area, and any additional resources they might need in the village," said Hormann, a native of Bushnell, Illinois. "Our goal is to help them live their lives by providing their security and needs."

The 1-12 Infantry is one of six battalions of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and has been placed under Task Force Kandahar's control for their 12-month rotation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.