Securing the Border 24/7: U.S. Soldiers, ABP combine efforts at Afghan COP in Khost

Print
Written by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen Otero Sunday, 20 December 2009 18:17

 

KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army mortar men from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, Indiana National Guard, provide 120mm mortar fire support to Soldiers from Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Ala, at Afghan Combat Outpost Chergotah located in the Terezayi district of Khost province, Afghanistan, Dec. 4. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs Office)KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan- On a rugged mountaintop bordering Pakistan, three kilometers from Northern Waziristan, sits Afghan Combat Outpost Chergotah in Khost province, Afghanistan. 

Here, U.S. Army Soldiers work together with Afghan Border Policemen to sustain border security and maintain peace amongst the local population. 

The Soldiers and policemen secure the area with a fierce drive and a wealth of firepower.


“At Chergotah we help provide security for Afghan contractors building the AFCOP, and my duty as a gunner is to make sure that if we are attacked, I gain fire superiority as quick as possible to eliminate the threat, using heavy weaponry,” said U.S. Army Spc. Ryan Harris.


Harris serves as a heavy weapons gunner with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles with Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station’s are a vital piece of weaponry to keep security within the area.  Heavy weapons platforms such as .50-caliber machine guns and Mark 19 grenade launchers are combined with precision computer video targeting systems controlled from behind a 10-inch screen that the gunner observes while tucked inside the vehicle.

While the advanced weaponry gives the Soldiers the advantage against insurgents in their efforts to ensure security, in order to connect with the local people, the Soldiers routinely leave the protection of their MRAP vehicles. The unit conducts daily, dismounted security patrols led by the platoon sergeant and platoon leader.

“My duty as a platoon sergeant is to take care of my men. I do this by resupplying them with food, water, ammo, and by ensuring they have a good security plan in place to protect themselves and their Afghan counterparts,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph De Lage, a platoon sergeant serving with Co. D. 

While the platoon sergeant works to ensure the safety of his Soldiers and the ABP, the impact the service members have on the area’s civilian population is not lost.

“I believe our presence makes a difference locally,” De Lage added.

According to U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jason Cumiford, a platoon leader serving with Co. D, the Soldiers and policemen must find the best way to secure the trust of the local population in the district. They find the enemy, separate them from the local population, and defeat them. 


However, Cumiford added that the most important task is to ensure the ABP are competent, well trained and able to defeat the enemy by themselves, and that they are trusted by the Afghan people.

 

 

KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A round from a Mark 19 Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station, is test fired for accuracy at Afghan Combat Outpost Chergotah in the Terezayi district of Khost Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 4. U.S. Army Soldiers serving with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Ala., utilize the CROWS while pulling guard duty alongside the Afghan Border Police at the Afghan COP. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs Office) KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Sgt. Mihail Golin, uses a tube launched, optically tracked, wire guided (TOW) missile to help secure the Afghanistan and Pakistan border crossing of Chergotah in the Terezayi district of Khost province, Afghanistan, Dec. 4. Security in Chergotah is a daily struggle due to a vast amount of mountain crossings. Golin serves as an infantryman with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Ala. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs Office) KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jason Cumiford, relays grid coordinates by radio to the tactical operations center at Combat Outpost Terezayi while out on patrol in the Terezayi district of Khost province, Afghanistan, Dec. 4. Cumiford serves as a platoon leader with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Ala. He and his Soldiers work with the Afghan Border Policemen out of Afghan Combat Outpost Chergotah to sustain border security and maintain peace amongst the local population. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs Office) KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 1st Lt. Matthew Meggs, conducts a security patrol in the Terezayi district of Khost province, Afghanistan, Dec. 4. Meggs and other Soldiers with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Ala., work with the Afghan Border Police operating out of Afghan Combat Outpost Chergotah, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan. Meggs, a fire support officer, provides indirect fire support to ground maneuver units. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs Office) KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Pfc. Christopher Long takes a break after pulling guard duty at Afghan Combat Outpost Chergotah in the Terezayi district of Khost province, Afghanistan, Dec 4. Long serves as a squad designated marksman with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Ala. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs Office) KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A Mark 19 Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station, can be mounted on the top of various combat vehicles and has an array of cameras and advanced electronic sensors. U.S. Army Soldiers from Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Ala., utilize the CROWS while pulling guard duty at Afghan Combat Outpost Chergotah in the Terezayi district of eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Otero, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs Office)

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 December 2009 18:37