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Task Force Guardian Soldiers Return to Ind

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(Photo courtesy DVIDS: Indiana National Guard Spc. Brandon Davis, a 381st Military Police Company soldier, received a loving welcome from his grandparents, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in Indianapolis. Davis deployed to Afghanistan in January in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy T. Vise)

120th Public Affairs Detachment

Story by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Vise
INDIANAPOLIS – More than 110 soldiers with Task Force Guardian returned to the Hoosier state Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

The soldiers were responsible for area security and partnered with Afghan police while overseas.

The unit, led by 1st Lt. Christopher Ford from Portage, Ind., and Master Sgt. Wayne Kannaple from English, Ind., was a combined task force of soldiers from the 381st Military Police Company headquartered in Plymouth, Ind., and the 387th Military Police Company in New Albany, Ind.

The soldiers were originally tasked with security patrols in the Bagram area, but were reassigned to mentor the Afghan uniform police.

After the change in mission, the unit helped Afghan police develop a system of training on their own so they would be able to sustain their force through training, mentorship and logistics, said Ford

“We saw the Afghans develop a lot; progress from what we taught them on training and acquiring supplies for their force,” said Ford.

The mission involved soldiers riding along with the Afghans and instructing them on how to do day-to-day patrols, this allowed them to build upon what they were taught and develop their own techniques, said Kannaple.

The Soldiers morale was pretty high during most of the deployment. When Spc. Arronn D. Fields from Knightsville, Ind., was killed in action in May, it hurt everyone, and it took some time to bounce back, said Kannaple.

“We kept Fields in our hearts and minds everyday and remembered what a great soldier he was and kept his memory as a part of our team,” he said.

Despite the loss of their comrade, the Soldiers persevered and set the example for the Afghan forces.

“I believe our mission showed the Afghan people that we are there to help them on making their country more stable and self-sufficient,” said Ford.

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