Colonel of the infantry school reports on his afghanistan deployment

Colonel of the infantry school reports on his afghanistan deployment

Although the situation in the province of badakhshan is considered "very safe for colonel peter utsch, deputy commander of mountain brigade 23 and since june the new head of education and training at the infantry school, the deployment was not a vacation. Utsch, who lives in aschfeld (district of main-spessart), also had to deal with threatening situations in the area with its mountain ranges of up to 7,000 meters in height.
He reported to the "comradeship of the hammelburg training battalion" of a hostage-taking by police officers that ended without bloodshed, of attacks on a check-point and skirmishes between gangs and the local police. The fact that the region now has 3500 well-trained security forces of its own "is a credit to the german forces, said utsch.
He was in afghanistan for almost half a year as "PRT commander kunduz" (provincial reconstruction team) deployed in the north of the country. His mission, and that of his soldiers and civilian staff, was to support the provincial government in building a secure environment and to ensure state authority. The staff includes 280 soldiers and 70 employees from the ministries of the interior, the interior ministry and the development services.
The task was not easy, because "there are many regional powers in the country that do not cooperate with each other. Moreover, the police and the afghan military did not always cooperate optimally.
Currently, the "handover of security responsibility" is taking place to the afghan authorities instead. "The international community will continue to be concerned about afghanistan. The country will continue to depend on help in the future", utsch gave his personal assessment.
He also emphasized that "not all afghanistan is the same." The colonel described the diversity of the country, its geography and its people. The missions of the international forces are just as diverse as the country itself. The north, for example, is relatively safe, while in the south of the country attacks are a daily occurrence.
The region around the city of freyzabad, where utsch had his camp, is an agriculturally very fertile area, where three harvests a year were possible. With an area of around 44,000 square kilometers, the PRT commander's area of responsibility covered roughly the size of the state of lower saxony.
"After 2014, the security situation will not change much", utsch was sure. This is also due to the fact that not all foreign forces will leave the country, but rather they will no longer participate in operational missions from the end of 2014. There is no doubt in utsch's mind that a follow-up mandate for the ISAF mission and further assistance are indispensable: "it will not be possible to maintain stability using our own resources." Despite the well-trained local security forces, it is therefore possible that the country could revert to its pre-11/11 state. September 2001 cannot be ruled out from today's perspective.
"The PRT concept is good, utsch said about the reconstruction work. The indispensable prerequisites for this were: "basic preparation for the mission, openness, transparency and mutual information, the involvement of the military chaplaincy, the mandatory observance of cultural peculiarities in the country as well as cooperation with the afghan authorities, which also creates trust."


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