BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Army News Service, April 9, 2007) - Afghan National Police assisted the 13th Psychological Operations Battalion during a bomb defusing operation in Charikar yesterday.
ANP officers maintained security and handed out humanitarian aid to more than 70 villagers at an evacuation site while explosive ordnance disposal technicians from the airfield rendered safe a 500-pound Soviet bomb that fell on a village almost 20 years ago.
"We are grateful," the village elder said. "We are always grateful when you help us."
Villagers were evacuated to a safe zone while EOD technicians removed the bomb\'s fuse.
"They needed something to occupy their time," said Maj. Lance Baker. "It was our job to interface with local nationals, and our mission was to assist EOD and make sure the villagers don't interfere with EOD's mission."
Help from the national police was also critical to the operation.
"We're here for their security," said Pvt. Safay Ullah of the national police, "in case the insurgents attack. Also, if we're not here, people may not cooperate. They have respect for us."
Baker said having an Afghan government presence helped make the mission a success.