1 Settembre 2013
Soldiers of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1RRF) have handed over control of Check Point Abpashak East to the Afghan security forces.
CP Abpashak East becomes the latest checkpoint in the Nahr-e Saraj district to be handed over to the Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) as they continue to grow in strength.
The Fusiliers have been deployed in the district since March, operating in support of their Afghan partners along the Helmand River valley, the key route Highway One and the Nahr-e Bugra (NEB) Canal.
The checkpoint, which has been home to around 30 Fusiliers, was handed over following a full inspection of the site by the Royal Engineers.
Lt Col Jon Swift, Commanding Officer of the Transition Support Unit in NES, 1RRF, said:
“The handover of CP Abpashak East signals the growing ability of the Afghan’s to take the lead in security. We have been working with the Afghan Uniform Police who are going to take it on and they are very comfortable in doing so, and possibly quite happy to see us leave.”
Major Kenneth Nielsen of the Danish Army, Deputy Commander of the Transition Support Unit in NES, shook hands with XXXX of CP Abpashak East, to officially mark the otherwise informal occasion. Maj Nielsen said:
“The Afghan police have proven time and again that they are capable of providing the local population with protection from the threat posed by the insurgency. Today marks a positive step towards them doing this ever more independently as our presence in the area reduces.”
Major Chris Head, Officer Commanding Y Company, 1RRF, said:
“The Afghans have a large network of checkpoints spread all along the major routes, predominantly on Highway One. They fully understand the importance of this location, they have resourced it well and there is more building work going on to reinforce the area.”
Fusilier Michael Inglis, Fire Support Group, 1RRF, who has been based at CP Abpashak East since deploying to Afghanistan in March, said:
“We have had no trouble in the area, the locals have been friendly and the AUP have been out doing their patrols in the night time and during the day.”
1RRF are deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick 18. This summer will see the Afghan security forces lead the summer fighting season for the first time
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Photo credit to read – Corporal Si Longworth (Army Photographer)