8/7/2011 -- LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan — Petty Officer 2nd Class Devin Harris is currently on his second deployment and is enthusiastic about his role as a medical mentor to the Afghan Border Police.
Harris, a Navy corpsman, is deployed as part of a mentor team which trains Afghan National Security Forces in advanced military concepts, such as logistics and administrative procedures.
His specific job is to help the ABP develop medical care at the small unit level.
“This is by far one of the most challenging and rewarding assignments of my career,” said Harris, who volunteered for the one year assignment at his home unit (Marine Air Group-29) out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. “I work independently and mentor the field medical teams and six zone Afghanistan Border Police medical staff.”
The training helps the Afghan troops become capable of functioning as a medical department complete with physician, medical planner, administrator and a team of combat medics, explained Harris, a native of Columbus, Ohio.
The training will allow the ABP to sustain day-to-day operations. After the ABP medics complete the training, they are placed throughout Helmand and Nimroz provinces to sustain security operations.
“It is definitely a crawl, walk and run phase in preparing ABP to mentor, train and process their own forces to reach their goals,” said Harris with a sense of duty and mission. “However, in order for coalition forces to leave by 2014, they need to be successful in securing their borders.”
“We have an integral part in their success,” added Harris, who plans to eventually pursue a career as a public health officer.