Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coldstream Guards and Afghan Security Forces patrol together in Helmand

A joint patrol involving soldiers from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, from Aldershot, and Afghan Security Forces has been speaking to villagers in the region of Malgir in Helmand Province.

As ISAF forces continue to work more closely with their Afghan colleagues, the patrol represents the partnering approach to security, reconstruction and development now being adopted by General McCrystal.

Lieutenant Rob Hanking-Evans and a Afghan National Army Commander talking to a local elder about security and future projects in the region.

The patrol, as with many others, was conducted with members of both the Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan National Army (ANA who act as the face of the joint Afghan government and ISAF led mission in Afghanistan.

They provide the first point of contact for the local population, allowing relationships to be built with Afghan villagers and the security forces.

Guardsman Danny Newton of the 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards having a laugh with a member of the Afghan National Police (ANP).

Although security is the main concern for many villagers, at the same time, representatives from the Military Stabilisation and Support Team (MSST) work closely with our Afghan colleagues to deliver development and reconstruction to the region.
Lieutenant Robert Hanking-Evans, from Number Three Company, the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards said: “We interact with the ANP and the ANA very well. They’re very useful assets in terms of being able to read the local population….The ANP are local to this area. They all live about one kilometre from the location where they are based, so therefore they know if there is anyone new in the area and who shouldn’t be there.

He continues, “The Afghan National Army recruit from across the country…They have the benefit of being seen by the locals as impartial and that they can be trusted as they bear no tribal loyalties.

Picture: Corporal Barry Lloyd, RLC

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