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Press Release | Jan. 12, 2009

Afghan National Army distributes humanitarian aid to Shamal Gah

By None , U.S. Forces - Afghanistan

Press Release

United States Forces-Afghanistan

January 10, 2009

Release Number 20091001-02

Afghan National Army distributes humanitarian aid to Shamal Gah

KABUL, Afghanistan - The 3rd Kandak, 1st Brigade of the 207th Corps Afghan National Army distributed food and winter clothing to families in Shamal Gah, a village just outside Farah in the western region, Jan. 8.

In the morning, the ANA arrived in the village with a 7-ton truck filled with sugar, beans, rice, oil and warm clothes for men, women and children. As the distribution began, 17 families arrived at the town Mosque to receive the goods. The operation was coordinated with village elders by the Kandak Commander, Colonel Nemat Alah.

"It is important for the ANA to create security in our country and to help our people," Alah said. "The most important thing is to always have a good relationship with the local people. If we help them, they will help us with security in the area."

Just one month ago, Shamal Gah was the site of a battle between the ANA and insurgent forces in the area. Five ANA soldiers were killed and eight were injured. In order to achieve security, Alah approached the town’s leaders and developed a strategy to stabilize the region. A checkpoint was established along the road that runs through the village and a mission to provide humanitarian aid was planned. An agreement was reached between the ANA and the town; the ANA would provide security and the villagers would help with security by not supporting the insurgent force.

"We are very happy about the ANA because they always help us," said Haji Abdulsatar, a village elder. "Security is much better since the new kandak commander came to Farah. Before we didn’t have a checkpoint and the Taliban came to our village, but now they no longer come."

The Kandak has completed more than 30 humanitarian missions in the province hoping to improve security and stabilize areas of concern. The supplies for this mission were provided by coalition forces and coordinated through the units’ Embedded Training Team (ETT). The ETT came along for the distribution in order to provide extra security for the operation and to observe the Kandak’s execution of the mission.

"This Kandak executes these missions without our assistance," stated the ETT Team Chief, U.S. Army Captain James Collins of Columbus, GA. "I am very proud of what the ANA has accomplished; from the ground up, they plan and execute successful operations. From what I’ve seen this is the Kandak to be in if you’re an Afghan."