As part of an ongoing effort to strengthen relationships between the U.S. military and Afghan Security Forces, Spirit of America recently supported another Security Forces Advisory Team (SFAT) in the Kandahar Province with a generator for their Afghan counterparts. After a green-on-blue incident occurred in the compound, the partnership between the U.S. team and the Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) suffered a major setback. This particular attack was initiated by only a few new members who had just arrived a couple days prior. Thus, the rest of the group was not involved and did not share the same sentiment. However, due to this assault, the AUP leadership was changed out and the SFAT was forced to relocate to a different base, thereby straining relations and limiting the amount of indirect support they could provide.
While the majority of the police have been dutiful and committed, they have also been suffering at their location without the basic amenities like running water and lights at night. They have 2 oversized generators to power their compound; however, the constrained fuel rations prevent the men from using them even for limited times throughout the week. The SFAT was looking to acquire a small generator for the police so they could run the plumbing and electricity for a few hours each day. That way these men who have remained loyal to American forces could have some comfort by being able to use a working bathroom, take a shower, have some illumination in the evenings for greater security, and have power to charge the administrator's computer so he could type up his reports. In less than a week, SoA was able to support this project to enable the AUP. The U.S. forces are using this as a way for the police to have better functionality and perform more effectively overall.
A representative from the SFAT wrote, "The AUP were so thankful for the generator. I ensured they understood this was through charitable contributions to your organization from the American people and not from the U.S. Military. I used the way you worked with us to help provide for them as an example of how the Afghan Military and Police need to work with the Afghan population in the future. The generator was working great when we left. It was running the water pump for the well, some of the electricity for the commander's office, and the administrative officer's office for his computers. They could not have been happier." The team intends to use this improvement not only as a means to make the Afghans more self-reliant but also to engender a better rapport with those police who have proven their dedication to the mission.
Afghanistan Field Rep