KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The Afghan National Security Forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan, are learning from 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment Soldiers and showing they're ready to defend their country.

"The Air Force and the ANA, we are getting ready to take over," said 2nd Lt. Ahmad Farhad, security officer for Quick Reaction Company, Afghan Air Force. "For this reason, we want to partner with the Coalition Forces and the U.S. Army, because they are not here forever."

Farhad said he and his men are improving day by day. They take the experience of the Coalition Forces and mix it with their own knowledge of the people and the country.

One of the units providing this experience is 3rd Platoon, Mad Dog Troop, 4th Squadron, 2SCR. They partner with ANSF on the majority of their operations and teach them hands on, while on patrol.

The platoon tries to let the Afghans do as much planning and execution as possible, while they observe and give suggestions, said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Dustin L. Carroll, platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon, Mad Dog Troop, 4th Squadron, 2SCR.

"You can't teach an eastern culture how to think like a western army," said Carroll, a Forest City, N.C., native. "You've got to let them do it their way. We just try and emphasize the important things like treating the people with respect."

Carroll said, the 2SCR Soldiers teach ANSF all of the basics they need to secure their area of operation, so that way, the Afghan people see Afghans protecting them.

"Anything we do is done through the local government," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jordan L. Bass, platoon leader for 3rd Platoon, Mad Dog Troop, 4th Squadron, 2SCR. "It empowers their government and helps legitimize them as a fighting force."

Bass, a Jacksonville, Ala., native, said when the Afghan community sees the government actively providing protection, they are more willing to cooperate against insurgency. They are more willing to work toward a common goal.

"We want to have a free Afghanistan, released from the insurgency," said Farhad. "This is the hope of every Afghan. That is why we patrol and talk to the people. It is in our hands. We want peace and stability. This is my hope."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16