“3/3 hosted the Northern Trinity Governors’ Conference on security in Jalal Abad. Lima Company provided security.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005
“In early March, the Battalion S-5 began coordinating with the Asad Abad and Jalal Abad PRTs to arrange a security conference with the Provincial Governors and Police Chiefs of Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman and Nuristan Provinces. The primary purpose of the conference was to discuss means for reducing organized crime (narcotics and timber smuggling, in particular), generating revenue in support of security services (primarily the ANP) and integrating the ANP to reduce the problems associated with tribal affiliations. The conference took place at the Nangarhar Governor’s Conference Center in Jalal Abad on 27 and 28 March. The Northern Trinity Regional Governor’s Conference on Security ended with the Deputy Governors, ANP Chiefs, NOS Chiefs, Regional Highway Patrol Chief, and Regional Border Patrol Chief all pledging continued communications and cooperation. They agreed to conduct weekly district security conferences among all agencies as well as a monthly, rotating Regional Security Commission. The latter was to consist of the ANP chiefs, the NOS chiefs, the Border Patrol Chief, the Highway Patrol Chief, the ANA Kandak commander and a coalition representative. The first Regional Security Commission meeting was then scheduled to take place in Asad Abad on 30 April. They also agreed to develop provincial election and voter registration security plans and to identify shortfalls where they would need assistance from the ANA and coalition. Finally, they created a regional emergency response unit with each security agency providing one representative in Jalal Abad. This unit will coordinate emergency response within the four provinces.”
“The Minister of Interior (MOI) representative agreed to address inter-provincial force integration (to address the problem with local tribal affiliations) and Regional Inspector General services, which the provinces deemed was inappropriate for them to address themselves but ideas worth pursuing with the Mal. At the Regional Security Commission meeting, they also planned to address standardizing weapons and tinted window permits throughout all four provinces, using Nangarhar as a model.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005
Afghan officials, Coalition hold milestone conference
By Capt. Tony Apisa
3rd Bn., 3rd Marine Rgt.
JALALABAD, Afghanistan – Over the past three and a half years, Coalition forces have taken the lead in providing security in the war-torn country of Afghanistan.
However, on the heels of a successful presidential election in October of last year, and the establishment and growth of indigenous security forces, the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police, the government and the people of Afghanistan are in the midst of reversing the roles.
The Marines of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, “America’s Battalion” have been working side-by-side with Afghan government officials, Afghan National Army soldiers, and Afghan National policemen since November 2004, when they first arrived in Eastern Afghanistan.
Through continuous joint operations with the ANA and ANP, as well as consistent meetings with provincial, district, and village leadership, the Afghans have begun to take a larger role in establishing security for their nation.
In an effort to further this progress, America’s Battalion coordinated with local officials to hold a conference for the Coalition and Afghan leadership from four provinces in Northeastern Afghanistan.
This conference was the first of its kind in Afghanistan, as key leaders from Nuristan, Laghman, Kunar and Nangarhar
provinces joined together March 27 and 28 to establish a united front against the Taliban, HIG and Al Qaeda insurgents, who are still waging attacks throughout the region.
The conference was geared towards sharing current procedures and strategies being used in each province and unifying their efforts. Topics that were discussed included establishing regional security standards, combating antigovernment activity and enhancing the ANP.
Doctor Assif, deputy governor of Nangarhar province, and the host of the event, said that he was “glad to see the authorities gathered to talk about security in this region of Afghanistan. The security organizations in this area need to fully coordinate their activities with each other.” Realizing that security is a critical step in the progress of the nation, he added, “For a successful reconstruction process we need security.”
Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines has been working alongside the Nangarhar and Laghman provincial ANP as well as the 1/1/203 Kandak (the ANA equivalent of a battalion) with great success.
“This Governor’s conference was a milestone. Though the Coalition hosted it, it was the Afghan leadership that set the agenda and decided upon initiatives that will undoubtedly lead to a more stable environment,” said Capt. Eric Kelly, Lima Company Commander.
As a result of the conference, all parties involved agreed that a formal delineation of duties for each organization was needed; that a cooperative and combined approach to security issues must be continuous; and that provincial security working groups would be established to share information.
“The Northeast Regional Governor’s Conference on Security has established a cooperative framework for the Afghan leadership to use while addressing their common security challenges, such as insurgent activity and organized crime. These are important steps in setting the conditions needed for the eventual withdrawal of international forces,” said Lt. Col. Norm Cooling, commanding officer, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines.
The unifying effect of the conference was tangible. “It was quickly realized that pulling their voices together as a region will make a strong impact with the central government. This is yet another positive step towards stability in a previously turbulent area,” said Kelly.
“The two day conference was a great success,” said Rozi Khan, deputy governor of Kunar province. “By working together we will gain the people’s trust. We must have the assistance of the people in order for us to succeed.”
In a nation where tribal and ethnic differences have historically placed barriers in the way of any type of national unity, political and security leaders from various areas were able to sit together and discuss common ground.
“The dedication and commitment to the nation of Afghanistan demonstrated by its provincial leadership at this security conference was inspiring,” said Maj. Steve Hunter, civil military operations officer, 3/3, who orchestrated the conference. “The Afghans are taking the initiative to secure their individual and national prosperity.”
Due to this success, the Afghan leaders have decided to establish a regional security commission to meet monthly with the key from each agency.