Marine trainers get first-hand look at Afghan police progress

Posted: July 9, 2011 in Afghan National Police, Afghan Security, Development
Tags: ,

Story and photo by Cpl. Adam Leyendecker

Sgt. Matthew P. Boyle, an instructor at Joint Sustainment Academy Southwest and a Seguin, Texas native, poses for a photo at JSAS aboard Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, July 6. Boyle had an opportunity to operate in combat operations alongside Afghan National Security Forces members he helped train at the academy.

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan– During courses at the Joint Sustainment Academy Southwest, here, instructors train Afghan National Security Forces and track their progress until graduation.

Two Marine instructors at JSAS recently followed their pupils onto the battlefield to watch them utilize the skills they taught them at the academy in a real-world combat environment.

Sgt. Matthew P. Boyle and Cpl. Joshua Hillyard were sent forward from Camp Leatherneck for more than two months to patrol with some of the ANSF students who at one point attended their classes at the academy.

Boyle, a native of Seguin, Texas, taught the Joint Noncommissioned Officer course in April. The main points Boyle taught the students were patrolling, improvised explosive device awareness and weapons tactics.

Though many students grasped the techniques taught at the academy, said Boyle, he noted how rewarding it is, as an instructor, to see them using those same maneuvers and tactics in an actual combat situation.

Afghan Border Policemen who had completed advanced training at JSAS could be seen using the formations taught by the instructors during their patrols in the far south of Helmand province, he added.

“I noticed the students who had attended JSAS because of their level of maturity,” said Boyle.

While out on patrols with the border police, the Marines mission was to ensure the Afghan Security Forces were retaining their knowledge and applying it correctly in the right circumstance.

The students, who had received JSAS training, seemed less likely to panic or worry when a situation arose and a decision needed to be made, observed Hillyard, a native of Dayton, Ohio.

The ABP Hillyard observed in the field applied many of the training and safety techniques they had been taught, to include setting up and conducting their own live fire ranges, he said.

Several ANSF officers the Marines’ were so impressed by the JSAS graduates that they said they plan to send their own troops to the academy for follow on courses such as the Generator Course and the Combat Medic Course, said Hillyard.

While outside Camp Leatherneck, Boyle said he and his former students shared past memories and moments from the academy.

“The contribution of time and patience is making the biggest difference with the development of security forces,” said Boyle.

Additional photos can be viewed here.

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