Afghan Border Police, Marines take next step in border protection

Mamoor, a 19-year-old Afghan from Nawa, Afghanistan, grew up with…

Mamoor, a 19-year-old Afghan from Nawa, Afghanistan, grew up with dreams of serving his country.

“The only reason I joined was to help my people and help my country.  I want to stay in ABP, help my country, and defeat the enemies of Afghanistan, like the Taliban,” Mamoor said.

The Marines from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment arrived, and with the help of local government recruiting efforts, provided him with an opportunity to bear arms in defense of his country, as a member of the Afghan Border Police.

Inside of a dusty compound Nov. 19, Mamoor joined 30 of his peers from the 7th Kandak Afghan Border Police, wearing camouflage pattern uniforms of gray, green, white and black, in a formation in the hot afternoon sun.

Mamoor and his peers graduated after having completed a week-long course headed by Marines from the Police Mentoring Team, 2/2, in Garmsir, Afghanistan.

As each one of them is called up, they are handed a certificate by their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Gul Agha Amiri, and shake the hand of Lt. Col. John E. McDonough, the commanding officer of 2/2. They then face their fellow graduates with certificates in hand, and say, “I will truly help my people and my country.”

Throughout the past week, these men have been learning basic police tactics to become more effective when they are deployed to different entry and vehicle control points throughout Garmsir.

The training started off slow, with the Marines teaching them things like proper firing stances and how to properly detain and search a person step-by-step. The instructional tempo increased with the policemen’s confidence.

“They do it on instinct now, just building muscle memory all week,” said Lance Cpl. William Paulus, a Marine from the PMT with 2/2. “They’ve done pretty dang good job.”

For border policemen like Mamoor, a shorter than average man with a thin mustache, this is the first bit of training they have ever completed with the ABP. Mamoor is so new to the border police he has not had the chance to go to the academy in Kabul.

“The training I got here was good for me. When I go to the academy I will not have any problems,” said Mamoor.

Not all of the men who attended the course were new to the border police. Sgt. Gulalai, another member of the 7th Kandak, has attended the academy, but said this was the first time he had been trained by Marines.

“This training is very good for us,” said Gulalai, a tall man with a thin beard and thick mustache. “When we face our enemy we’ll be able to defeat them.”

To increase the confidence of the Afghan Border Policemen, and to ensure that training continues even after the Marines are gone, three Afghans were selected to take over the instruction for the last two days of the exercise. Gulalai was one of them.

“When we go to our post, I will do the same training with the other border policemen so they can get this training too, because it is very beneficial to us when we are faced with the enemy,” said Gulalai, who has been a border policeman for two years. “We must know these tactics.”

With the week over, the Marines move on to concentrate on their next group of border police, and the police will begin working at different checkpoints throughout Garmsir.

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