Photo Information

U.S. Marine advisors with Task Force Southwest and Afghan National Army soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps monitor battlefield operations at the Brigade’s command operations center in Camp Nolay, Afghanistan, May 23, 2017. The advisors assisted their counterparts with the battle-tracking, intelligence and logistical procedures during a clearing operation in Sangin, Afghanistan. Approximately 50 Marines partook in the expeditionary advising package as part of the Task Force’s train, advise and assist mission in Helmand Province. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins)

Photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

U.S., Afghan forces partner for Sangin mission

27 May 2017 | Sgt. Lucas Hopkins II Marine Expeditionary Force

U.S. Marine advisors with Task Force Southwest and Afghan National Army soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps partnered for an advisory mission at Camp Nolay, Afghanistan, May 21-25, 2017.

The event was an opportunity for the advisors and leadership within the 215th Corps to build an understanding of the 2nd Brigade’s capabilities and current shortfalls, while also helping coordinate a combat mission conducted by 3rd Kandak, 2nd Brigade.

“We are conducting an expeditionary advising package to help facilitate contact between the 215th Corps members and members of the 2nd Brigade of the 215th Corps, trying to understand each other’s processes,” said Capt. Jonathan Pucci, a fire support advisor with the Task Force. “We’re also trying to help facilitate a clearing operation they are conducting inside the district of Sangin.”

The soldiers of the 3rd Kandak, 2nd Brigade recently completed an operational readiness cycle at Camp Shorabak, where both Task Force Southwest and the 215th Corps are headquartered.

“As the Afghans try to understand the battlespace, we’re doing it alongside them and helping… them build a common operational picture,” said Pucci.

Although not directly involved, the Marines assisted their counterparts with communications, medical evacuations and helping support the Brigade’s command operations center during the Kandak’s clearing operation in the nearby city of Sangin.

The threat the enemy poses in the area is high, said ANA Col. Abdul Waheid Tamurei, the commanding officer of 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps.

“We want to bring peace to the civilians and eliminate the enemy from the Sangin district,” he added.

Several of the advisors had the opportunity to see first-hand the Brigade’s force sustainment procedures, which will allow for the 215th Corps to enable improvements throughout the unit’s logistical operations.

“It’s really useful to get into the weeds with our Corps counterparts and all of their subordinate leadership,” said Pucci. “We want these connections we’re making between the Brigade and the Corps to sow the ground for long-term improvements.”

Although no longer engaged in direct combat operations, Task Force Southwest’s role as the main advisory element in Helmand Province is essential to promoting the success of the Afghan National Defense Security Forces and denying safe havens to insurgents in the region.

“I think with the leadership they’re putting in place and with our advice and support, we’re going to see an ANA that’s supporting each other toward a common goal,” said Gunnery Sgt. Alberto J. Andino, a logistics advisor with Task Force Southwest. “The Afghans who’ve been putting their lives on the line and working as hard as they have been deserve a peaceful Helmand.”

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