Airmen Help Afghan Police With Security Checkpoint
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- At a busy intersection in Parwan Province near Bagram Airfield, adults and children alike stopped to watch as a crane lofted what looked like a shipping container above the heads of Afghan and American servicemembers Jan. 7.
The container was actually the top of an old guard tower from Bagram Airfield that the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron was turning over to the Afghan National Police to serve as a guard post near the airfield.
"They control the security outside the wire ... and this is our way of helping them out with that. We're helping them to help us," said Senior Master Sgt. James Segebarth, 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Group superintendent of installation security.
Airmen from the 455th and 755th ESFS partnered with local ANP members to provide security and direct traffic around the intersection as Soldiers from the 857th Engineer Company, deployed from the Mississippi National Guard, positioned their crane and lifted the guard post into the air. As the crane lowered the guard post inside the walls of the existing checkpoint, Afghan and American troops pushed the building into position, communicating with each other by pointing.
"This would not be possible without the great relationship Colonel Uzmari and I have built," said Lt. Col. Thomas Sherman, 455th ESFS commander, as he and his ANP counterpart stood together watching Afghan and American servicemembers move the guard post.
"We work shoulder to shoulder," agreed Uzmari, ANP Bagram District chief. "My people and his troops do a lot of work together and patrol together to make sure nothing happens."
The guard post is the fourth the 455th ESFS has turned over to Afghan National Security Forces. Local Afghan National Army units have received two, and this is the second the ANP has received. District ANP forces were already providing security for the area, but the new guard post provides a permanent hardened facility for them to base their operations.
"I'm proud that in cold weather or hot weather, my men will stand here to provide security for the people," Uzmari said.
After the guard post was placed, the U.S. servicemembers climbed into their vehicles and the crowds of spectators began to disperse. As the U.S. vehicles rolled away, the ANP policemen returned to their newly fortified post and continued to watch over the streets of Bagram.