Afghan, Coalition Forces Bring Checkups, Aid to Remote Village
American Forces Press Service
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Jan. 10, 2008 - Afghan national security forces and coalition advisors provided medical checkups and humanitarian aid to more than 100 villagers Jan. 6 near Khorma in the Tarin Kowt district of Afghanistan's Oruzgan province.
The project, led by Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police units, was planned to support the Afghan government's effort to improve medical care and distribute supplies in remote areas of the country.
The soldiers met with village elders to discuss the people's needs and see what projects could be planned for future visits. The elders quickly passed word of the aid-delivery mission to residents.
Villagers lined up according to their needs, with some families needing medical care while others simply needing supplies to help get them through the harsh Afghan winter. Village elders prepared to distribute items while the combined force unloaded a trailer full of medicine and medical supplies, food and vitamins. Police brought winter clothes, including sweaters, jackets, shoes and boots. Some families received toothbrushes, toothpaste, bowls, lotion, soap and infant formula according to their needs.
The medics treated several adults and children for minor ailments, but overall, everyone was fairly healthy, officials said. Only a few needed treatment for cold and flu symptoms or minor skin infections. After handing out food and supplies and treating minor ailments, medics conducted preventive medicine classes for many of the residents.
"The village elders were very appreciative for the aid the (Afghan security forces) brought," a coalition soldier said. "They were very grateful that we provided quality medical treatment and supplies."
The Afghan National Police, including Oruzgan Provincial Police Chief Juma Gul, were instrumental in providing security for the mission and the village. The national police also donated radios, pens, pencils, notebooks and rugs as gifts. "The villagers are very happy to have ANP patrol their area," one policeman said. "Village elders said that they now feel safe."
Missions like this greatly improve the health and welfare of villagers in remote locations and helps to build stronger relationships between the Afghan people and their country's security forces, a coalition soldier said.
(From a Combined Joint Task Force 82 news release.)
The good news I see in these news releases is that these missions are no longer being done just by soldiers - the coalition soldiers are acting as advisors while the Afghan soldiers and police do the missions. It was not that long ago that we were hoping for this!