Story and photo by Pfc. Nathan Thome
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and International Security Assistance Forces came together Nov. 20 to attend a dinner held by Haji Torjan, an important Afghan leader, at Torjan’s compound in Kandahar City to celebrate the Afghan sacred holiday of Eid al-Adha. They sat together in unity, laughing, joking and eating side by side as partners.
The majority of the ISAF present were Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. They deployed to Afghanistan with the mission to partner with and mentor the ANSF as well as bring lasting stability to the Kandahar Province.
Part of the 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., strategy to accomplish the mission is taking the time to sit down with local leaders like Torjan to nurture their relationship, thus obtaining a better partnership.
“Torjan is U.S. contracted, but he is more of a partner to us than he is a contractor,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Scott, the senior enlisted advisor for 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
Scott added that ISAF has an important relationship with Torjan because he is a direct line to the Afghan people. He said Torjan provides ISAF with information about safety and security concerns as well as the people’s view of coalition forces.
Relationships with Afghans like Torjan are important because 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. works side by side with Afghan forces during every mission. Without these good relationships, 1st BCT would have difficulty accomplishing its overall mentoring mission.
“We have units partnered throughout the battle space,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Beck, commander of 1st STB, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “We build on each other’s strengths, as well as strengthen our weaknesses.”
“Our partnership is going to help the ANSF by building their skills. The people’s confidence in the ANSF will grow, and they will soon feel safer coming to them with information,” Beck said. “They will be better able to help with problems, making a stronger force.”