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The Mountaineer Online

Afghan National Border Police receive drivers training from 1st BCT Soldiers

Spc. Blair Neelands

1st Brigade Combat Team Journalist

CAMP SHAHEEN, Afghanistan – Members of the Afghan National Border Police learned how to maintain and operate the humvee on Camp Shaheen in northern Afghanistan, Aug. 23-25, as part of a training exercise geared to hone their security skills and create a quick reaction force.

During the training exercise, dubbed Operation Northern Shield, ANBP members were partnered with Soldiers from 10th Mountain Division (LI)’s 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion.

“Eventually they will develop three companies of QRF for along the border,” said 2nd Lt. Eric Mangol, platoon leader with A Company’s 2nd Platoon.

The area these ANBP members patrol is along the country’s border with Uzbekistan.

During the three-day course, ANBP members performed numerous safety drills and learned how to conduct preventive maintenance checks and services on the humvee. They checked fluid levels, looked for leaks, and ensured the tire pressure was adequate for safe operation.

“The first day was a general overview of the vehicle, safety, PMCS and recovery,” Mangol said. “The next day, we let them self-conduct PMCS. They did roll-over drills, fire drills, and basic driving. The third day was basic driving and advanced driving.”

Once the vehicles were cleared for driving, ANBP members along with A Company Soldiers drove a simple course and then a more challenging advanced course.

“The advanced course gave them more conditions like dust and dips in the road,” said Sgt. 1st Class James Williams, platoon sergeant and a driving instructor.

Many members of the ANBP receiving the training had no experience driving any type of vehicle. Now they were getting behind the wheel of an up-armored truck weighing more than 12,000 pounds. Although the students required a little extra time at the wheel, instructors said they were able to grasp the training.

“Once we taught them the basics of the controls – they picked it all up very quickly,” said Cpl. Thomas Butler, a team leader and driving instructor.

Although pleased with the training, the A Company Soldiers hope to make improvements to better educate ANBP members on the vehicle’s systems.

“This went pretty well, but next time I’d like to give them more stick time and a little more ground guiding,” said Staff Sgt. William Pitts, a squad leader and instructor.

Mangol and his platoon will continue to conduct this driver’s training course each month for the rest of their deployment in Afghanistan.

The Mountaineer



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