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Afghan National Army improves front-line defences

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

23 Aug. 2012

Soldiers with the Afghan National Army hit a milestone toward their independence from NATO support by improving an outpost that had been the target of insurgent attacks.

“They sent the engineers out to create more obstacles,” said 1st Lt. Michael Loyd, an operations officer and engineering advisor with the 4th Kandak Advisor Team. “They gave those guys a better chance to defend themselves against the enemy.”

The ANA planned and completed the engineering mission. Marines were present to observe and advise during construction.

“The ANA did a good job,” reflects Lt. Loyd. “They were able to put the plan together and get the materials. They made the logistical preparations necessary to move from Delaram to Washir. Once they got there, they were able to put their plan to action. They got the mission accomplished.”

The Marines watched as their Afghan counterparts set up protective barriers, including a dirt berm and new guard posts. These obstacles offer greater protection atop the hill the outpost stands on.

“I was very impressed with the heavy equipment operators being able to operate their heavy equipment at such a steep incline of the mountain,” said Capt. William Kennedy, the advisor team’s officer-in-charge. “They had a high potential to roll one of their vehicles, but they didn’t.”

The ANA engineers proved themselves to the advisors and the Marines were very satisfied with the results of the mission.

“I think everyone should know that the ANA are very capable,” Capt. Kennedy said. “A lot of times people doubt their abilities, but they are capable.”

The advisors know their work is important for all Afghans, who will rely on the ANA to provide security once coalition forces leave.

“We’ve made it clear for them that they need to use solutions that they can use without us being here,” said Capt. Kennedy.

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