BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN News 3's Steve Fullhart and Rachel Cox from KWTX News 10 in Waco are on assignment covering Texans serving in Afghanistan.
Security efforts at Bagram Air Field continue to be a pressing concern on many Army leaders' minds as the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan continues.
Lt. Col. Phil Brooks, Commander of Fort Hood's 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, said the effort to keep the base safe takes several soldiers who continue to do their jobs everyday even as the Afghan police and army prepare to step up to provide security.
Brooks said gaining the trust of the Afghan people was key in accomplishing this task.
"It's like moving into any new community. You have to establish that trust in your neighbor and, frankly, as the Afghan police have taken charge of the security here, it's even more important," Brooks said.
To do this, Brooks says he works with a team of interpreters from the area who often go out to villages with him and other soldiers on patrols.
"They talk to the Afghan leaders and explain to them where we need their assistance wherever it is in the Bagram district," Brooks said.
Other Fort Hood soldiers on the front lines of intelligence gathering and patrols have also helped in the effort.
Capt. John Garvin with the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, monitors the intel coming in from outlying villages surrounding Bagram Air Field.
"The trends show that the Afghans are really taking the lead, and we're a supporting unit to the Afghans at this point in the war," Garvin said.
He added that with useful intel, they are able to map patrols to continue to support the effort to keep the base safe.
One of those soldiers in Garvin's unit who goes out on patrols beyond the wire that surrounds Bagram is Capt. John Dye.
"Right now, we're providing security for this base, and we all patrol the nearby villages right outside, and we do training with the Jordanians," Dye said.
Many soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment will be returning to Fort Hood in the coming months.