Afghan families receive food, clothing for winter months
February 4, 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 4, 2011 -- Sardar Mahammad followed his family through the humanitarian aid line as they each received a blanket, a jacket, a pair of gloves, a four-liter bottle of cooking oil, and five-kilogram bags of beans, rice, flour, and sugar.
"It would take me five days of work to earn enough money to buy what we were given today," said Mahammad, a local resident who works as an unskilled laborer.
Afghan National Police Kabul Zone 1 Security Kandak led the humanitarian aid mission in Musahi, Afghanistan, as part of a joint endeavor with Task Force-Kabul's Police Mentor Team Sunday, to provide each family with much-needed supplies to survive the cold-winter months.
While the ANP took the lead on security, "We turned it into a mentoring opportunity by looking at their search and security techniques," said 1st Lt. Dennis Frey, PMT leader to the Musahi Police District, 1-134 Cavalry A-Troop
"Today was extremely successful," said Frey, a Nebraska Guardsman. The mission was completed without a single security incident.
Coalition trucks filled with supplies rolled into the village with ANP escorts to provide security. ANP and coalition forces worked shoulder-to-shoulder to hand out the supplies as Afghans came through the line.
The mission helped fill a need in the local people. Because the needs were being met, the missions improve security in one of the most dangerous areas in Kabul province.
"There are five major towns where Task Force-Kabul is conducting humanitarian aid drops. Today is the third drop in Musahi. There are two more that will be done before the winter is over," said Capt. Zach Labrayere, company commander, 1-134 Cavalry A-Troop.
Before the first humanitarian mission, the people would often throw stones at passing ANP and coalition convoys.
ANP Lt. Sanayee, company commander, said he's served with the ANP for roughly a decade.
"I've been attacked six times by explosives and five times through ambushes," he said. "This [Musahi] is the worst place I have worked in all that time."
ANP Col. Amirsalem Adamkhai, commander of the Kabul Zone 1 Security Kandak, said that of the 14 districts under his supervision, Musahi is the most dangerous. But security has improved over the last two months, he said.
The improvement was easily seen on Sunday's mission as children ran from their homes to wave or give thumbs up to the passing convoy.
"The people like it [the humanitarian aid] and they are working with us now. The coalition, Afghan National Army, ANP, and coalition Police Mentoring Teams all worked together to make this happen," said Adamkhai. "It brings the people together to work with the government."
"The previous drops helped about 200-300 families. Today we expect about 500 families to benefit. In the future, we hope the number of families helped goes even higher," said Adamkhai.