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Small Tools, Big Impact

Back in October, I wrote a blog about providing vital supplies to Afghan Security Forces in the Daman District of Kandahar through a military advising team. With charitable contributions from SoA supporters, the Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) and the National Directorate of Security (NDS- Afghanistan's domestic intelligence agency) have been able to successfully improve their reporting and investigating in order to capture more insurgents and save lives. Both organizations received cameras and GPS devices to properly track IED incidents, criminal suspects, and sites historically known for nefarious activities. Additionally, the NDS received a color 3-in-1 printer so they could print out pictures of their targets and make copies of threatening letters left at their door to submit to their command for analysis.

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Here is what one of the Army mentors wrote to us recently: "Thanks again to Spirit of America for their support to Combat Advisors in the field. Your organization is our preferred weapon system. Your donation of cameras and GPS's has yielded exceptional results in the few weeks since we have trained the Afghans on their proper employment. The days of guessing where the IED or rocket is from and questionable map reconnaissance are over in Daman District. The Afghan Police and NDS officers have shown that they can locate a device [bomb] then employ the GPS to provide the information needed for American or Afghan bomb technicians or Quick Response Forces to arrive in minutes rather than hours. The payoff is palpable.

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The cameras you provided have already been brought into use as well. The Afghan Police have employed the cameras in documenting crime scenes both in training and real world situations. They use them to document evidence, to photograph detainees, and to complete reports for their higher headquarters.

The simple addition of a few digital cameras and GPS's has made the Afghan Security Forces in our area a more professional and capable force. Without the generosity of your donors, the Afghan Police and NDS would still be trying to sketch crime scenes by hand and navigate dangerous roads without direction. Thank you again for your patriotism."

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When I visited Daman last month, the Afghans seemed very excited about their tools and were eager to show them off. They take pride in their increased ability and self-sufficiency. With assistance from SoA, these forces are now more established and better prepared to handle tasks on their own as the U.S. team slowly transitions full responsibility over to them. They are committed to their duties and are striving to continually improve security in their areas. As you may have noticed, SoA has implemented several projects similar to this one in Afghanistan's southern region which goes to show that the demand continues because the equipment is making a marked difference. And the troops are attesting to the value it adds to missions on the ground.

Chrissy Burbach
Afghanistan Field Rep