28 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-748

ISAF troops gain security stronghold in Maywand

KABUL, Afghanistan - It’s been a long two weeks for ISAF troops deployed as part of the U.S. Army’s Alpha Company 2nd Brigade 2nd Infantry (2-2 INF), as they have been working harder than ever to secure the southeastern portion of the Maywand District of Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan.

For the past two weeks, the 2-2 INF has maintained security without a roof to cover their heads while members of Bravo Company of the U.S. Army’s 62nd Engineers Brigade constructed Combat Outpost (COP) TERMINATOR.

“We used to work out of [Forward Operating Base] RAMROD,” said Capt. Chris Brawley, Alpha Company Commander of the 2-2 INF which deployed out of Fort Hood, Texas, in July. “But this was to our disadvantage. We would patrol out for a few hours and then head back to RAMROD which is close to 60km from not only the people we wanted to help, but also the people we wanted to help us.”

Brawley explained that TERMINATOR’s location was selected because of the advantage it would give ISAF forces in deterring insurgents from using the nearby Arghandab River as a means of transport. Before the 2-2 INF security push, Brawley noted that the region was heavily used by insurgents for not only movement from Herat Province to the eastern portions of Kandahar by way of the river, but also to transport weapons and drugs.

“With TERMINATOR in place, we can now prevent these kinds of movements,” Brawley said. “Our next goal is to start working with local Afghans to not only protect them, but also to gain their trust.”

Alpha Company First Sergeant, Christopher Kowalewski, said in the first days of TERMINATOR’s construction earlier this month, a tribal elder from a local village paid a visit to camp.

“He was in tears,” Kowalewski recalled. “He said he was just extremely happy that we were here and that motivates us to do our jobs here as best we can. These people are depending on us.”

Brawley said that although TERMINATOR is more than 60-percent complete, he won’t increase the number of patrols by his troops until construction is fully complete sometime in January.

Brawley said, "the presence of 2-2 INF is reflected in the moods and attitudes of the people in the local villages who were once too afraid to talk to us because we weren’t able to maintain a constant presence. In order to succeed down here, we need their help and they have already showed us they are more than willing to do that.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/