Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan – The Zone 1 Afghan Border Police along with 2nd Brigade Afghan National Civil Order Police delivered school supplies to hundreds of students as part of a community outreach mission, May 25th, at a school in western Jalalabad.
U.S. Army Soldiers with ABP Zone 1 Security Forces Advise and Assistance Team, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division assisted their Afghan National Security Forces counterparts by providing security and help hand out supplies.“The mission was basically to put a spotlight on the ABP and ANCOP as they deliver school supplies to the school children across the street,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Joseph L. Jenkins, the assistant operations officer with ABP Zone 1 SFAAT, and native to Brandenburg, KY.
Jenkins said the supplies consisted of books, backpacks, pencils, notebooks and soccer balls and were donated from the U.S.
“They came from all over the place. I got a few from churches,” said Jenkins. “I know my parents sent some stuff.”
“Everybody else had family members, church groups and schools bring stuff in,” Jenkins added. “We had about 600 bags worth of stuff sent from all over the country.”
The mission began in the morning with the ANSF and U.S. Soldiers taking the supplies out of boxes and loading them onto the police trucks.
Everyone then got into formation and conducted a dismounted patrol from the Zone 1 compound to the school across the street where they were greeted by the teachers and students.
The trucks then drove into the school and everyone worked together to take the supplies off the trucks and put them into a tent to be handed out to the students by the ANSF leaders.
“They did pretty good,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Stokes with ABP Zone 1 SFAAT, and native to Louisa, KY. “They were out there smiling, shaking hands, handing out supplies, talking to everybody; it was pretty good.”
“They actually took the initiative; standing up and handing out all the school supplies to the kids,” Stokes added. “I thought they did a pretty good job.”
Although the ANSF units do patrols, Jenkins said this kind of mission is still important for the ANSF to maintain their presence in the local community.
“This is an opportunity to get out there,” Jenkins said. “Their mission was a show of good will. They (ANSF) were the ones handing everything out. We were just helping to coordinate.”
“It was a way for the ABP-ANCOP forces to interact with the locals, and show them we’re friends with them,” said Stokes.
After the supplies were handed out, the Coalition Forces said goodbye to the students and made their way back to the Headquarters Zone 1 compound.
Written by U.S. Army Sgt. Jon Heinrich
1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division PAO