Veterans of the old ASF are doing good things as ASG.
The ODA in Shkin is located at Firebase Lilley. The
ODA employs several hundred Afghan security guards, or
ASG. The Shkin ASGs secure Firebase Lilley’s perimeter
and occupy three border outposts in the Shkin area. The
ASG Sangar observation post, or OP, is located two kilometers north of the ANA’s north OP and was built to protect the north OP/BCP-213 from enemy attacks from the
north because the north OP was deemed a “soft target”
by the enemy. Sangar OP is on tactically advantageous
terrain and dominates the area. The ASG south OP is located
three kilometers south of BCP-213 and is designed
to protect the southeastern portion of Shkin from enemy
attacks. The ASG Shkin Bazaar OP is located seven kilometers
south of Firebase Lilley and five kilometers west
of South OP and is designed to protect Shkin from enemy
attacks from the south.
When the ASG was created in 2006, it was composed
only of former SF-trained Afghan Security Forces, or ASF,
who were located on ODA firebases. From 2005 to 2006,
in an effort by the Afghan government to stand on its own,
the ASF were demobilized so that the government of Afghanistan could focus on the official branches of the Afghan military and police forces, such as the ANA, ANP, ABP and National Directorate of Security. Following the ASF demobilization, many former ASF soldiers were hired as ASG. Eighty percent of the 270 Shkin ASG were prior ASF. Since 2007, conventional forces have been hiring civilians “off the street” as ASG to guard Afghan convoys of resupply trucks or to secure routes all over the country and on the firebases of conventional forces. Most of the time, these ASG are untrained, and they have given a bad name to the ASG for
those who are not familiar with the SF-trained version. The
Shkin ASG on Firebase Lilley and its three border outposts
have been trained by SF teams for the past five years, and
they continue to set the standard for other Afghan forces
for their professionalism, tactical excellence and maturity.
The tribal elders see and understand the difference between
Shkin’s ASG and other regular ASG.
In 2007, to counter the new ASGs’ lack of offensive
capability, 20 of the best ASGs on Firebase Lilley were sent
to the RTC in Gardez to attend basic training and become
ANP. ODAs must conduct partnered operations with an official Afghan force in the lead. The ANP is a logical choice,
because it allows the ODA to focus on surgically removing
key enemy nodes within target networks by police action,
i.e., to gather intelligence and arrest the person responsible.
The tribal elders in Bermel and northern Gomal recognize
and respect the outstanding ability of the relatively small Shkin ANP because of their operational history over
the past year, their operational history as ASF over the past
five years, and their continuing partnership with the ODAs.
Also, a majority of the ASG and ANP are from this region
and are recognized as understanding the environment and
the culture — as opposed to Afghans brought from other
regions of the country. The elders understand the Shkin
ANP’s ability to arrest known enemy facilitators and commanders. The Shkin ANP arrested nine persons during ODA 3315’s deployment from October 2007 to May 2008. Three of these arrests were a direct result of local tribal elders cooperating with the Shkin ANP.
Are any old ASF hands up in Wardak? Guys like them would be right handy in standing up the new Afghan Public Protection Force.