LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — U.S. Army advisers with the 36th Engineer Brigade attached to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, were recognized at a ceremony Sept. 25 at Camp Maiwand, Afghanistan, as their advisory mission to the Afghan National Army 4th Infantry Brigade, 203rd Corps, came to an end.
The security forces advise and assist team, known as Peacemaker, arrived at Forward Operating Base Shank Jan. 27 to take on the advisory mission with 4th Brigade, known as Task Force Vanguard, in support of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.
Soon after their arrival, the team of 18 members partnered with the Afghan army’s 4th Brigade and Garrison Support Unit’s primary staff to help increase combat power and security measures.
During the ceremony, Lt. Col. John Allen, brigade deputy commander and brigade asstance team adviser, highlighted the team’s accomplishments which included advising and assisting the Afghan army through the construction of 11 bunkers, the placement of 35 protective wall barriers and rebuilding and hardening the Maiwand entry point to help increase security and protection for the soldiers.
The Peacemaker team also supported the Afghans’ efforts to rebuild, maintain and sustain their fleet of improvised explosive device defeat systems across their area of responsibility in Logar and Wardak provinces. They also coordinated the installation of four new mine rollers on the brigade’s armored international trucks.
The team facilitated numerous training events that included engineering, counter-IED, intelligence, communications, information operations, air-to-ground integration, medical, indirect fire, generator maintenance and contracting.
“The vast majority of these training venues were designed to certify Afghan soldiers as instructors and operators, thus providing them the ability to train themselves,” Allen said. “Of note, the brigade just enrolled their first set of five medical providers into an internship in Kabul, and they were the first Afghan National Army brigade to participate and graduate five soldiers from the air-to-ground integration training.”
The brigade’s first helicopter landing zone is the most recent successful project, which allows them to conduct their own aerial resupply missions, air assault operations, receive guests and, if required, support air medical evacuations.
“It’s very rewarding to see firsthand what your efforts are doing as you see the Afghan National Army get more proficient in what you’ve been training them on,” said Capt. Todd Stawicki, the adviser to the garrison unit.
Afghan Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq Safi, 4th Brigade commander, thanked the U.S. advisers for their assistance to his unit.
“You have not only helped the 4th Brigade, you have helped all the Afghan National Army,” he said through an interpreter.
“It’s not easy and you went beyond our expectations. We are fighting an enemy who has no mercy.
“You are not (only) fighting for the freedom of Afghanistan, but you are saving the world.”