Joint patrols with Afghans are proving safer, claim Czech soldiers guarding Bagram

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

The personnel of the 3rd Guard Company, who have already served more than one hundred days at the Bagram Air Field, have begun organising joint patrols with the Afghans guarding the largest Resolute Support base in Afghanistan, consequently establishing stronger professional relations with the units of the Afghan National Army (ANA).

The Czech soldiers began their mission by carrying out their first patrols on their own, however, in the past several weeks, it has emerged that cooperating with local units of the ANA is proving beneficial to both parties.

“Afghan soldiers are familiar with the local environment and customs. Being natives, they understand local culture and issues which foreigners may not fully grasp. When communicating with locals, Afghan soldiers can usually distinguish a particular mood of a person of interest. For example, if a suspect retreats from them, it could be due to shyness or an attempt to hide something,” said 1st Lieutenant Jan B., the liaison officer of the Czech company responsible for planning joint patrols with soldiers of the 3rd ANA Kandak (battalion), during a discussion on the advantages of this type of mutual support, along with the Commander of the 3rd Kandak, Lieutenant Colonel Majeed.

As a result of carrying out these joint responsibilities, relations between the Czechs and the Afghans have turned from that of a professional alliance to that of a more friendly one. “The Afghan soldiers are very satisfied with this teamwork. They recognise that we take into consideration their cultural and social traditions, which is important considering that the Afghans are a very proud people. We behave and speak to them with the same respect accorded to all comrades and partners.” added the Commander of the ECHO guarding platoon, Lieutenant Lukas A.

The 3rd Kandak, based at nearby Jabal Saraj, has sufficient numbers of equipment and trained soldiers to perform joint day and night patrols, which can, at times, last for more than 15 hours. The patrols are now considered more secure than if the national units performed their duties independently.

January 26, 2015