Story by: Lt. Col. Paul Fanning - Task Force Phoenix Public Affairs Dated: Sun, Nov 23, 2008
Col. Roy Tario pins a Bronze Star Medal on 1LT Stephen Profirio from Woburn, MA while CPT Timothy Simmons from Hamburg, NY and MAJ Charles Jones from Cedar Hill, TX stand prpoudly at right. 1SG Patrick Treverton from Wheatfield, NY and SSG Deanna Bizzette from Florence, SC were next to receive their awards.
CAMP PHOENIX, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (23 November 2008)-- Nearly 30 members of a Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix (CJTF-Phoenix) unit dedicated to training and mentoring the Afghan National Police (ANP) received awards during a ceremony at Camp Phoenix in Kabul on Sunday 23 November.
The Soldiers are mostly from National Guard units from NY, SC and other states and are assigned to Regional Police Advisory Command-Kabul (RPAC-K.) They are part of Afghan Regional Security Integration Command-Kabul (ARSIC-K) also based at Camp Phoenix.
“RPAC-K was responsible for mentoring more than 4500 Afghan National Police officers assigned to the 30 police districts in the Kabul area,” said Col. Roy Tario, from West Sand Lake, NY the commander of RPAC-K. “Our coverage area included a population of 5.5 million,” he added. “We stood up RPAC-K following the arrival of our team from NY. I was really proud to be the commander and the team accomplished a lot,” he said.
“We conducted leadership and logistical training and also worked with the police chiefs to train them on criminal investigation techniques,” said Maj. Charles Jones, a reservist from Cedar Hill, TX, the RPAC-K executive officer. “We conducted joint patrols and security missions with the ANP and often recovered arms caches, rockets and other ammunition that could have used for IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices,)” he said.
The trainers and mentors of RPAC-K planned, supported and conducted about 25 separate humanitarian outreach efforts with their ANP counterparts to help the population and develop bonds of trust between the community and the police. “We conducted shuras (meetings) with the police chiefs and district governors, village elders and other local leaders to address problems and plan support efforts,” said Maj. Jones. “Sometimes we drew out bad guys to the meetings and may have even been able to turn some to the government side,” he added.
Staff Sergeant Deanna Bizzette from Florence, SC is among seven RPAC-K members awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Three Soldiers received the Meritorious Service Medal and 20 other soldiers were awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
Nearly 1700 members of New York’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were mobilized for the CJTF-Phoenix mission to train and mentor the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police and provide support to the government and the people.