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Sappers work, train with ANA on route clearing

 

Written by U.S. Army Spc. Kimberly K. Menzies
Task Force  Currahee Public Affairs 

The CurraheesFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionPaktika Province, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Soldiers from Company A or Sapper Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, cleared routes in Paktika Province alongside an Afghan National Army route clearance company February 25th.

“We began working with ANA RCC in the later part of January,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Adam J. Lemmerman, squad leader from 1st Platoon, Co. A, 4th BSTB, 4BCT, 101 Airborne Division, and native of Cleveland.

An Afghan National Army route clearance company patrols alongside Company A, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, in Paktika Province Feb. 24th. The RCC patrol in humvees with a mine roller attached and a mounted M2 .50 caliber machine gun. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Kimberly K. Menzies, Task Force Currahee Public Affairs)

An Afghan National Army route clearance company patrols alongside Company A, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, in Paktika Province Feb. 24th. The RCC patrol in humvees with a mine roller attached and a mounted M2 .50 caliber machine gun. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Kimberly K. Menzies, Task Force Currahee Public Affairs)

Since the RCC is a new asset to the ANA, the Sappers are teaching them the necessities of the route-clearing mission.

“We had classes on medical training, classes on how to use radios, and how to use and clean our .50 cal machine guns,” said Sayed Bahdar, the ANA RCC’s 1st Platoon commander.

“We have organized classes (to teach) the RCC proper hand and arm signals, how to react to contact, (standard operating procedures) for a platoon, tactical techniques and procedures for improvised explosive device strikes and first-aid training,” said Lemmerman.

“We gave them some of the same training we received before we left (Fort) Campbell, (KY),” said U.S. Army Sgt. James A. Potter, a team leader from 1st Plt., 2nd Squad, Co. A, 4th BSTB, 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division and a native of Port Washington, NY. “We trained them on how to stop bleeding, how to administer an (intravenous line), how to do a personnel search and how to scan for IEDs.”

Although the RCC’s equipment may not be as sophisticated as the Sappers’, they have dedicated themselves to learning how to use and maintain it properly.

“They have definitely become more proficient with their weapon systems,” said Lemmerman. “They used to leave the weapon on the vehicle in the rain because they didn’t know how to put them back together again.”

New to the field and area, the RCC have shown they are eager and ready to learn.

“We need to learn as much as we can from the (U.S.) Army,” said Bahdar. “We are in a new army so it is important for our success to learn from what they have been doing that has made things so successful here so far.”

“These guys are very enthusiastic about learning everything we can teach them,” said Lemmerman. “If you teach something to one, he will go back and teach it to his entire group.”

Though the RCC is new, confidence in their skill and knowledge is at an all-around-high.

“I am very comfortable with their abilities,” said 1st Lt. Brian Bogenschutz, platoon leader from Company A, 4BSTB, 4BCT, 101st Airborne Division, and native of Xenia, Ohio. “It was important for them to learn from the RCP so that the ANA RCC can take the reins and clear their own routes. I think they definitely will soon be ready to start clearing routes on their own.”


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