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News | Oct. 10, 2012

Soldiers work with ALP to build stronger, independent security

By Sgt. Ryan Hohman , 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan — The Afghan Local Police of Magat, Afghanistan conducted their first partnered patrol with their U.S. counterparts from 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division inside the city they call home Oct. 5.

The ALP activated in Magat to assist international and Afghan security forces alike. As the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan comes to a close, the ALP and Afghan National Security Forces will take more responsibility for the protection of the Afghan people and the residents who call Magat home.

This operation provided the opportunity “to get [the ALP] out front,” and allowed them a chance to “get used to patrolling” the area to ensure security for the city’s residents, said 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Drumm, who serves as the 2nd Platoon leader.

“When we have the ALP element [performing an operation], it’s a lot different,” said Sgt. Jeremy Miller, who serves as a squad leader with 2nd Plt. “The ALP just got to our area and sometimes it is a little difficult.”

B Company is ready to work with the ALP and overcome these challenges, which will lead to a strong defense for Magat.

“Working with the ALP can be difficult at times, but they have the potential to be good,” said Drumm. “They need more good examples.”

“Right now the [ALP] is like a Private out of basic training,” said Miller. “They have an idea of what they need to be doing; they just need more guidance and experience.”

Experience is often the best teacher and operations like these help the ALP gain the skills needed to apply what they have learned to real-life scenarios and situations they will likely face on a daily basis.

“Getting the ALP out with us and the [Afghan National Army] more will allow the ALP to learn and grow more confident in their skills so they can take control of the city,” said Drumm.

The method of immersion is not new for U.S. and NATO forces. Much of the growth seen in the ranks of the ANA and AUP seen over the last two years has largely come from being partnered, and operating closely with, their American and international counterparts.

The ANA and AUP have continued to grow, learn and become the professional force they are today, said Miller.

“Based off of the people we have worked with in the past, it is obvious that down the line, with more time and experience, the ALP will do the same,” added Miller.

Drumm said, “That’s the way ahead. By having ALP and AUP patrol and police the city allows the ANA to focus on larger missions.”