Kandahar’s police substation No. 16 is a small green metal building plopped on a patch of dirt.
While still primitive, U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Voorhees boasted of its progress when he visited one rainy day last week as a ragtag group of Afghan policemen — some still in summer uniforms — were lined up.
Outside the building, there are damp tents furnished with bunk beds. A tarp hung over an outdoor eating area. There was a latrine and even a pingpong table made of scrap lumber.
“I think we’ve moved from an F to a C or C-plus,” said Voorhees, commander of the 504th Military Police Battalion, which is deployed in Afghanistan’s largest city in the south. “They have hot showers, water, heated tents.”
The substation is one of 16 that ring Kandahar to help keep the Taliban from getting into the city to launch attacks.
Afghan policemen and American MPs live together at all of them, jointly protecting their piece of the city of 800,000. Ten substations are housed in buildings. Two are under construction. Four still operate in tents or temporary quarters.
Source: Deb Riechmann for The Associated Press.