Photo Information

British Army Brigadier Stuart Skeates, deputy commander of Regional Command (Southwest), listens to Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Abdul Wasea talk inside Delaram’s operations coordination center, June 27, 2012. Wasea, commanding general, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps, and other Afghan regional leaders met with Brig. Skeates and Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6 to discuss the transition of security responsibilities in Delaram to Afghan National Security Forces. One improvement Brig. Skeates recommended was an enhanced capability at the district’s OCC. The OCC is important for sharing information among the components of ANSF and with provincial leaders.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter

Afghans ready for security responsibility in Delaram

27 Jun 2012 | SSgt Brian Buckwalter

DELARAM DISTRICT CENTER, Afghanistan – Senior Afghan and coalition leadership discussed an impending Delaram district security transition during a meeting Wednesday, June 27.

British Army Brigadier Stuart Skeates, deputy commander of Regional Command (Southwest), traveled to Delaram to meet with the Afghan National Security Force, Afghan government leaders, and Marines with Regimental Combat Team 6. The regiment advises their Afghan partners through embedded and civil affairs teams.

“There’s real progress,” Skeates said about the ANSF and local government capabilities. “There’s confidence. The Afghans are up for (the security transition), and they can look after themselves.”

Brigadier Skeates said that the Afghans are serious about independently taking control of the region, mentioning that the provincial governor’s chief of staff and the provincial chief of police drove 125 miles from Nimruz province’s capital, Zaranj, for the meeting.

The leaders discussed the challenges of handling security and government post-coalition involvement.

“What’s really encouraging is the fact they understand what those challenges are and, probably more importantly, what they need to do about it,” Brig. Skeates said.

One issue is communication between separate ANSF components and ensuring district-level information gets routed to the provincial level. The solution, said Brig. Skeates, is a fully-staffed district operations coordination center. Delaram’s existing OCC capabilities are limited, but meeting attendees agreed to focus resources to improving it.

Another concern for the Afghan leaders was mitigating the continued improvised explosive device threat in the area. It’s a concern Brig. Skeates said he shares, but he noted that the Afghan counter-IED capability is improving.

At Forward Operating Base Delaram II, coalition forces are training Afghan National Army soldiers in advanced counter-IED techniques. Brigadier Skeates also encouraged the ANSF leaders to send students to courses offered at Camp Leatherneck and the ANA’s Camp Shorabak.

Brigadier Skeates said the reason meetings to discuss a security transition are happening is because the Afghans are ready to take control.

“You have every reason to be confident” especially with progress made over the past year, Brig. Skeates told the Afghan leaders. “All of the solutions lie in your hands, not ours.”

Editor’s note: Regimental Combat Team 6 falls under 1st Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.

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