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WORLD NEWS 15
Army March 31, 2011
By Spc Edward Garibay, US Army
A NEW patrol base built by the
Afghan National Army (ANA) under
Australian mentoring is set to bring
security and peace to a long-stand-
ing Taliban stronghold.
Patrol Base Mohammed, located in
the Mirabad Valley in Uruzgan prov-
ince, is the first base built solely by the
Afghan National Security Forces.
A small group of Australian men-
tors, including engineers, were on site
to supervise construction, which began
in February. ANA personnel carried
out the main work on the base, named
after a fallen ANA soldier.
Lt Christian Johnston, mentor team
leader for Combat Team Bravo, said
the new base would help secure the
region, which had been previously
inaccessible to coalition forces.
Lt Johnson said the base was a big
step towards ANA independence, and
an important symbol for locals to gain
further confidence in the ANA.
"We're trying to work ourselves
out of a job. We're trying to work our-
selves into a position where we're not
needed anymore," he said.
Australian mentors have been
teaching ANA personnel the finer
points of soldiering over the past five
months, preparing their Afghan col-
leagues so they can maintain security
at the new base.
Lt Johnston said security had
increased ten fold in the region since
construction was completed, and
ANA soldiers had conducted a num-
ber of independent patrols through the
"To see the ANA doing these
patrols to such a good standard gives
me confidence that they'll be okay out
here, and we're proud to have been a
part of that process," he said.
OC Combat Team Bravo 2, Maj
Brenton Pearce, said the base would
deny insurgents access to a key sup
"Security out here in the past
has really been nonexistent.
"Now, a foundation has been
built for development," he said.
First Lt Mirwais Amiri, Infantry
Platoon Commander, 4th Brigade,
ANA, said the unit could bring
stability to the region ahead of the
critical spring fighting season.
"This is our base and these
are our people," he said "I can see
my infantry soldiers have become
better with the training from the
New heights: Australian mentors play
a supporting role in construction of the
new Patrol Base Mohammed in Uruzgan
Hard at work: Afghan personnel lead the
way in building the base, from where they
can now help secure the region.
Photos by Spc Edward Garibay, US Army
Building for a future
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