Spartan 3 Helps ANP Protect 2,000 Afghan Elders During Recent Jirga

KABUL – Dur­ing the recent four-day Loya Jir­ga, mem­bers of Task Force Spar­tan 3 con­duct­ed more than 10 intel­li­gence-led high-risk advi­so­ry mis­sions to help Afghan Nation­al Police pro­tect their country’s 2,000 trib­al lead­ers.

Spar­tan 3 Truck Com­man­der Army Sgt. David Floyd dis­cuss­es ways to posi­tion them­selves with an Afghan Nation­al Army (ANA) offi­cer to ensure prop­er traf­fic flow along a busy road near Afghanistan’s “Loya Jir­ga” Sun­day. (U.S. Navy pho­to by MC1(SW/AW) Chris Fahey)
Source: NATO
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The jir­ga, or grand coun­cil, allowed elders to dis­cuss nation­al issues with Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai – a long-stand­ing Afghan prac­tice – and was pub­li­cal­ly con­demned by insur­gent lead­ers who pressed their fight­ers to dis­rupt by any means possible. 

“The Afghan Nation­al Army, Police and Direc­torate of Nation­al Secu­ri­ty units did an out­stand­ing job pro­tect­ing their peo­ple,” said Com­man­der, NATO Train­ing Mis­sion – Afghanistan Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bol­ger. “Despite attempts, insur­gents failed to dis­rupt this process thanks to the out­stand­ing per­for­mance of our Afghan coun­ter­parts and their coali­tion com­bat advisors.” 

Stood up in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber, Task Force Spar­tan 3 was charged by Com­man­der, Task Force Yan­kee Brig. Gen. John A. Ham­mond to serve as com­bat advi­sors to ANP offi­cials at more than 50 dif­fer­ent check­points with­in five Afghan police dis­tricts spread out across the dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed city of more than 3.9 mil­lion people. 

Spar­tan 3 men­tors work shoul­der to shoul­der with ANP offi­cers, demon­strat­ing ways to iden­ti­fy pos­si­ble vehi­cle born impro­vised explo­sive devices (VBIED), vehi­cle and per­son­nel search­es and how to set up traf­fic con­trol points. 

“We con­tin­ue to see con­stant improve­ment,” said Spar­tan 3 Team Leader Army Staff Sgt. Mark Moon. “They search peo­ple and vehi­cles bet­ter with­out us hav­ing to point out which vehi­cles they should pull over. They are able to pick out the tar­gets and secure threats themselves.” 

Due to the cul­ture, men are not autho­rized to search Afghan women. The action would be con­sid­ered an offense to their hon­or. Female Sol­diers assigned to Spar­tan 3 advise female ANP offi­cers on how to thor­ough­ly search oth­er women. A job Spar­tan 3 women find incred­i­bly rewarding. 

“Our job is sim­ple – we teach the female Afghan police offi­cers how to bet­ter search women sus­pect­ed of car­ry­ing con­tra­band or weapons,” said Spar­tan 3 Gun­ner Army Spe­cial­ist Lori Sor­rells. “Per­son­al­ly, this is an amaz­ing job. To inter­act with the ANP, get a grasp on their cul­ture and to be in a posi­tion to help is a great honor.” 

Acti­vat­ed in 2009, NTM‑A is a coali­tion of 37 con­tribut­ing nations charged with assist­ing the Gov­ern­ment of Islam­ic Repub­lic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) in gen­er­at­ing a capa­ble and sus­tain­able Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Force (ANSF) ready to take lead of their country’s secu­ri­ty by 2014. 

Sto­ry by Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Spe­cial­ist 1st Class (SW/AW) Chris Fahey,
NATO Train­ing Mis­sion – Afghanistan Pub­lic Affairs 

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