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Afghan checkpoint improves security

Published: 12:43PM September 20th, 2012
Afghan checkpoint improves security

Sgt. Tyler Meister

Lt. Col. Ryan B. Wolfgram (right), commander of 2-1 Inf., 2nd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., cuts the ribbon Sept. 5 during the official opening of the new Pirpaymal Checkpoint in Arghandab District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

ARGHANDAB DISTRICT, Afghanistan — A Soldier from 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division took part in a historic ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 5 that marked the completion of a police checkpoint in Pirpaymal near District Police Center-Arghandab in Arghandab District of Kandahar Province.

The Pirpaymal Checkpoint is designed to ensure long-term security and stability in the region. Pirpaymal is a police sub-garrison in the Arghandab River Valley, scene of periods of fierce fighting during the past six years.

Lieutenant Colonel Ryan B. Wolfgram, commander of 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, and Maj. Darren Keahtigh, commander of 4th Infantry Division’s Security Forces Advisory Team 37, were extended the privilege of cutting the ribbon along with District Governor Haji Shah Mohammad.

“I hope this checkpoint will provide security and ensure the stability of the area,” Mohammad said.

Construction of the checkpoint was completed by Afghan contractors in about 90 days at a cost of approximately $194,660. To complete the checkpoint, the contractors: renovated two buildings by sealing cracks and repairing windows and constructed a parimeter wall, a fuel point, a guard tower and a latrine.

International Security Assistance Forces provided funding and oversight of the project. The oversight was managed by 1st Lt. Thomas Weadon, an engineer in SFAT 37.

“I feel that the project went smoothly,” Weadon said. “The checkpoint will improve the overall security of the area and allow the Afghan Uniform Police to stabilize the area.”

Weadon said increased security promotes a better standard of living for the valley’s villagers. He also said the AUP can now prioritize their mission of securing the valley and banishing any Taliban threats.

“I have been working at the Pirpaymal Checkpoint for almost two years,” said 2nd Lt. Baryely, an Afghan Uniform Police platoon officer. “I’m honored to work here and also proud that, with the help of our ISAF partners, we have brought dependable security to the area.”

Baryley said before the checkpoint was renovated, there was no gate on the door and the policemen slept in tents. He said before the checkpoint was established, the area was full of Taliban and the people could not even work their orchards.

“Villagers thought we were only temporarily here to provide security and then leave,” Baryely said. “Now that we have a compound, the people trust that we are here to provide long-term security and that makes them happy.”