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Roundup - April 02, 2012

Roundup - April 02, 2012

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Published by RCSouthwest
A wrap up of stories and video from around Regional Command Southwest, Helmand province, Afghanistan, for the week ending April 02, 2012.
A wrap up of stories and video from around Regional Command Southwest, Helmand province, Afghanistan, for the week ending April 02, 2012.

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Published by: RCSouthwest on Apr 03, 2012
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 CAMP HANSON, Afghanistan- The members of the NationalInterdiction Unit, a group of Afghan special forces, standside-by-side with Marines of 2nd Battalion, 9th MarineRegiment as they prepare for their next mission duringrehearsals, March 13. Their target is a building they suspectis being used to traffic opium. The NIU are a part of CentralNarcotics Police Afghanistan, and their goal is to stop theillegal drug trade in their country. The raid they are preparingfor is one of many the NIU team has conducted during their time in Marjah. “I wanted to do something to help my peopleand my country,” said Capt. Farouk, the NIU teamcommanding officer. “Narcotics are a big problem for  Afghanistan. Our main goal is to get rid of any narcotics in our country and punish the smugglers.” 
 MARJAH, Afghanistan - Soldiers of Weapons Tolai, 3rdKandak, 215th Corps worked with the Marines of theWeapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, toset up a vehicle check point in Marjah, March 22. The Afghan National Army soldiers took charge, searchingvehicles and pedestrians while Marines provided supportand security. In the past, the Marines were leadingoperations, teaching the ANA soldiers by example. Today, thesoldiers conduct their own operations. Cpl. Glenn D. Stadig,a squad leader with Weapons Company, said working withthe ANA has changed since his previous deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. “Last year the Marines taught them,”Stadig said. “This year the ANA are doing their own thing. They’re making their own briefs, leading their ownsquads and setting up their own operations. On patrols they’re more vigilant. I’m impressed with the ANA thisyear.” 
 
 British troops in Nad 'Ali have helped Afghan forces take onmore of the burden for security in the region, facilitating theprocess of transition. Soldiers from A Company, 1stBattalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (1PWRR), known as Salerno Company, have seen significantimprovements in their area of operations during their tour,allowing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) totake on more responsibility for security throughout thedistrict. Salerno Company arrived in Helmand in September of last year, taking over from J Company, 42 CommandoRoyal Marines, and the soldiers found themselves under daily attack from insurgents in both the checkpoints theyoccupied and while they were out on patrol
 FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan - Afghan National Army medics are tending to patients broughtin from a bus accident, March 26. Sunday, the ANA medicslearned about an incoming mass casualty situation. Apassenger bus collided head on with a car close to base,and with the closest hospital more than four hours away, theseriously injured patients were brought straight to the ANAmedic’s tent. There were 28 casualties. “The patients camefrom different provinces,” said ANA Staff Sgt. Asmutullah,senior medic, 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps. “Theywent to run errands. They were on their way to Kabul.” The ANA medics see local Afghans on a daily basis, but don’t see mass casualty situations often. The medicsimmediately mobilized ambulances to the scene after receiving a call from an ANA unit about the accident.
 PATROL BASE WASHIR, Afghanistan - The road toWashir is dusty and dirty, with potholes and hills making itan obstacle course. The ride almost feels like off-roading,with vehicles hitting bumps and twisting around turns. Withno sign of houses, the approaching check points stick outof the barren landscape, with Afghan National Armysoldiers keeping watch over the area. Last Wednesday, ANA Col. Abdul Hai Neshat, executive officer, 2nd Brigade,215th Corps, stopped at several check points with Capt.Charles Arvisais, executive officer, 2nd Brigade Advisor Team, Regimental Combat Team 6, to inspect theconstruction of check points and address the ANA soldiers.
 
 Progress towards greater security has moved apace inthe Nahr-e Saraj area of Helmand province thanks to thecombined efforts of British and Afghan forces. BCompany, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's RoyalRegiment (1 PWRR), serving as part of Combined ForceNahr-e Saraj (South), have been working closely with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) during their tour, to bring about a significant improvement in thesecurity of their area of operations. When B Companyarrived in Nahr-e Saraj in October 2011, they came under regular attack from the insurgents while out on patrol. Butby working with Afghan forces on relentless patrolling,and the establishment of two new checkpoints, they havebeen able to significantly reduce the insurgency in the area.
Story and photos by Marine Sgt. John Jackson
 HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Of the more than 200Marines that make up General Support Motor TransportCompany, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Support Battalion11.2, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), all but six areReserve Component Marines. The Marines in the companyhave various military occupational specialties and come frommultiple Marine Corps reserve sites throughout the U.S. “Thecompany started out with about 220 Marines from 34different reserve stations,” said Lt. Col. David Gibbs, theMSB 11.2 commanding officer. “They came together prior todeploying at Quantico Viper and [Enhanced Mohave Viper]and have been performing brilliantly ever since.” Typically,most active duty companies are able to work together as aunit for up to a year prior to deploying. GSMT Co. had just a few months 
Story and photos by Marine Sgt. Michael Cifuentes
 KHAN NESHIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan – A patrol leader withthe Afghan Uniformed Police said he’s made substantialprogress building rapport with the locals during his threemonths of service in Khan Neshin district. This is no small featfor a person from the opposite side of the country and one whospeaks a different language than the population he protects.He said there is one key element that takes him far wheninteracting with the people of Khan Neshin – respect. “Whenwe show them respect, they return to us with respect. After that, we have their attention, we have their cooperation andmore importantly, we have their respect,” said Bismullah Khaliq,a patrol leader with the Khan Neshin AUP precinct.

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