PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers of Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Red Horse, conducted joint patrols with the Afghan National Police and met with villagers in the Koh-e Safi District during a mission to Vehicle Patrol Base Dandar in the Koh-e Safi District Center here Dec. 9 to 11. The mission gave Bravo Troop a chance to build relationships with the Afghan people, learn about the needs and infrastructure of the smaller villages and work with their ANP counterparts to secure the region.
“As a commander and battle space owner, I feel obligated to visit every village within the district so they all know we are here for them,” said U.S. Army Capt. Randall Stanford a Clive, Iowa, native and Bravo Troop commander. “I also want to get an assessment of each village. What facilities they have and what they need: clean water, sewage issues and any other necessary infrastructure.”
Stanford used the opportunity to ask villagers about security in the area, their essential daily needs and where they felt improvements were needed in the their villages. These issues were then brought up in a key leader engagement conducted with ANP Col. Farzea Masoom the Koh-e Safi District ANP chief, Dr. Abdul Wahed Khan, the district subgovernor, and other Afghan leaders from the area held at the district center Dec. 9.
“Walking through the villages and meeting with the people is a very good idea,” said Khan “By doing this, you get a good idea of what their needs are and what type of life they lead. Koh-e Safi people are a very poor people, and any help you can give them is much appreciated and by doing so it will keep your relationship strong.”
The meeting also included status updates of current reconstruction projects like the court house being built in the district center. Bravo Troop hopes the district center becomes a symbol of governance and law for the Afghan people in Koh-e Safi.
“We hope the court house can be a physical representation for the Afghan people that the courts and police are working together to look out for the people and provide the security that is so necessary to their daily lives,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Rodney Brock an Ocean Springs, Miss., native and the Bravo Troop executive officer.
The meeting included coordination for joint patrols between the Soldiers and ANP in the following months, given more purpose due to a rocket attack on the vehicle patrol base from insurgents the night of Dec. 9.
“Even though winter is coming, the enemy is still here and active, we need to work together to remove them from the area,” said Masoom. “We have the same enemy, the same problem and we will fight them together.”
“Let me know where they’re at, and we’ll go get them together,” responded Stanford. “I trust the ANP, and I know if we go anywhere with you, that we will be safe.”
The ANP members and Bravo Troop Soldiers conducted a joint patrol Dec. 10 to the point of origin of the rocket attacks and found a second device emplaced. Together, they disarmed and removed the rocket ensuring it would not harm Afghans or coalition forces.
The day concluded with a traditional Afghan meal where Bravo Soldiers and ANP members shared goat, Afghan bread and vegetables. The goat was purchased by Stanford that day from a local Afghan and traditionally prepared by ANP officers.
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