Assignment Afghanistan: Texas Soldiers Train Foreign Security Forces

By: Rachel Cox Email
By: Rachel Cox Email

BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN As many Fort Hood soldiers prepare to return home to Texas, they're continuing to train security forces from all over the world.

American troops have been training the Afghan police force and army, and have also been doing the same with security forces from Nepal known as the Cochise.

Cochise security team members learned how to use a less-lethal weapon Thursday that uses an ammunition that breaks apart instead of penetrating a target like a regular bullet.

SFC Brandon Stephens with 2nd Brigade Combat Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood led the training Thursday with about two dozen Cochise security members.

"When it hits, it's designed to explode instead of penetrating into the body which is less than lethal. However, at close ranges within the minimum safe distance, it has capability to be lethal if the shot placement is off," Stephens said.

The Cochise usually stand watch on one of the many defense towers surrounding Bagram Air Field.

Oftentimes, soldiers have reported that children and teenagers approach the towers asking for water or candy, and even risk their own safety since landmines are buried in the ground just beyond the security walls of Bagram.

Stephens said in some cases, they've caught some people stealing equipment, which impacts security efforts.

"A lot of stuff we have here is kids and adults stealing sensors and stuff off the fence line the perimeter to get the copper to sell it. They're not armed, and they're just out there to steal stuff, so if we stop them using this method instead of killing them with lethal force, it accomplishes our mission and saves lives at the same time," Stephens said.

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