Military

Afghan, US forces combine for flightline security patrol

by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Larlee
438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

12/8/2011 - KABUL, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- History was made Dec. 3 at Kandahar Airfield when Afghan air force security forces partnered with their U.S Air Force counterparts for a flightline security patrol for the first time.

Master Sgt. Terry Gilbert, sthe enior enlisted security forces adviser, said the patrol went well.

"The patrol was very successful," he said. "We are truly privileged here at Kandahar (Airfield) to work with a highly motivated and professional Afghan air force security forces unit. They were very excited for this opportunity and were encouraged to feel like they are crucial part of securing one of the busiest air strips in the world."

The patrol consisted of a two-person Afghan security forces team and a two-person U.S. Air Force security forces team.

The sergeant said the partnership was the initial orientation patrol for the Afghan air force defenders to help them get a feel for a fully-operational airfield and basic concepts of flightline security. He said the Afghan security forces were able to conduct entry control point duties and at one point successfully identified an unauthorized driver before he was able to access the Kandahar Airfield flightline.

Gilbert said he has found training the Afghans a rewarding experience.

"The challenges we faced were minimal," he said. "We have a highly successful partnership with Kandahar Airfield flightline security (staff members) who have worked diligently with our security forces advisers and Afghan air force defenders in training and preparing for this patrol."

The sergeant said that he has enjoyed watching the Afghans abilities grow.

"It has been extremely rewarding for our 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group Security Forces adviser team to watch the progress the Kandahar Air Wing security forces squadron has made within the past year." he said. "When I first arrived here at Kandahar (Airfield) in April, the security forces squadron was only performing the basic air base defense operations. Within this short time, we have witnessed the successful implementation of an aggressive outside-the-wire combat patrol section (responsible for the capture of 10 Taliban insurgents), law enforcement section, and flightline security section."

Gilbert said his assignment as an adviser is something he will remember for the rest of his life.

"It has truly been the highlight of my career and an experience I feel that all of our security forces advisers here at Kandahar (Airfield) will cherish for a very long time," he said.



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