• LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Lt. Col. Travis Thompson (right), the deputy commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, listens to a peer while advising his counterpart with the 201st corps Afghan National Army at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman province, June 14, 2014. (Photo by Sgt. David Cox, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)(Released)

    Strikes, TAAC-NE assist ANSF during Afghan Runoff Elections

    LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Lt. Col. Travis Thompson (right), the deputy commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, listens to a peer while advising his counterpart with the 201st corps Afghan National Army at Forward...

  • LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Lt. Col. Travis Thompson (right), the deputy commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, listens to a peer while advising his counterpart with the 201st corps Afghan National Army at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman province, June 14, 2014. (Photo by Sgt. David Cox, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)(Released)

    Strikes, TAAC-NE assist ANSF during Afghan Runoff Elections

    LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Lt. Col. Travis Thompson (right), the deputy commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, listens to a peer while advising his counterpart with the 201st corps Afghan National Army at Forward...

  • LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Afghan National Army soldiers display their inked fingers after casting their votes while providing security during the runoff elections at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Laghman province, Afghanistan, June 14, 2014. The ANSF were responsible for ensuring the safety of Afghans during the runoff elections which is a continuation of the April 5th presidential elections. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Dixie Rae Liwanag, 55th Signal Company, Combat Camera) (Released)

    Strikes, TAAC-NE assist ANSF during Afghan Runoff Elections

    LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Afghan National Army soldiers display their inked fingers after casting their votes while providing security during the runoff elections at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Laghman province, Afghanistan, June 14, 2014...

  • LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Ziyaei, 201st Corps, discusses strategies in the Operations Coordination Center-Regional North East during the runoff elections at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Laghman province, Afghanistan, June 14, 2014. The security forces were responsible for ensuring the safety of the Afghan people during the runoff elections which is a continuation of the April presidential elections. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Dixie Rae Liwanag, 55th Signal Company, Combat Camera) (Released)

    Strikes, TAAC-NE assist ANSF during Afghan Runoff Elections

    LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Ziyaei, 201st Corps, discusses strategies in the Operations Coordination Center-Regional North East during the runoff elections at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Laghman province...

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- In April, there were eight candidates vying to become Afghanistan's next president; in June there were two. In as many months as there are candidates from the last election, the Afghans went to the voting booths to decide who will become their country's next top official.

Leaders with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, and the commander of Train Advise and Assist Command-Northeast assisted their counterparts with the Afghan National Security Forces as they executed their plans to ensure a safe and secure runoff election day process for voters June 14, 2014, at the Operational Coordination Center- Regional, Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Laghman province, Afghanistan.

Afghanistan bases its elections off the French model, in which a candidate has to obtain 50 percent of the vote to win the election. The top two candidates from the April 5th election, Abdullah Abdullah and Arshaf Ghani, vied for the presidency during the runoff.

"In the case of the runoff election, the ANSF improved due the fact that they had the previous election to use as a training run," said U.S. Army Maj. Benjamin Flanagan, the Civil Affairs officer with 2nd BCT, 101st Abn. Div., and native of Hope Mills, N.C. "They were able to provide better security; they had a plan in place to supply additional ballots to polling centers that ran low or ran out."

Flanagan added that the ANSF's security improved, due to the coordination planning and lessons learned from the April 5th election.

"The April election was afghan-led, but this one was even more so," Flanagan said. "Very hands-off on our part; they were able to conduct this election with a minimal amount of coalition force present."

U.S. Army Capt. Geoffrey Ross, 2nd BCT's Information Operations officer said that this runoff was "great for the Afghans; they did a good job during the first election. I think going into the runoff elections they were more confident in themselves."
"Changing our advising focus from the lowest level up to the corps and brigade level has shown that tactically; the ANSF have got it," Ross said. "The ANSF are really showing a lot of progress; I was here in 2011-2012. This is an entirely different Afghan Army."

Maj. Gen. Mohammed Zaman Wazeri, the commander of the 201st Corps Afghan National Army, said that he was confident in the capabilities of his ANA soldiers because of their experience from the previous election.
"Fortunately, all the security team members of the ANSF -- everyone was well prepared," Wazeri said.

Results from the presidential runoff election are due out July 22, 2014.

Page last updated Sat June 21st, 2014 at 10:31