Afghan National Police work inside the Enhanced Security Zone manning 26 checkpoints to keep the capital city safe. (NATO photo by Jackie Faye)
By: Jackie Faye, Resolute Support Public Affairs
KABUL, Afghanistan – A bus horn blares. A child with a wheelbarrow full of beans and rice rushes home. A man on a bicycle rides to work. It is 9 a.m. on a Monday – rush hour in Afghanistan’s capital. Going through security checkpoints is just part of the commute for the nearly five million people who live in Kabul.
To keep the streets safe, seven countries, under Resolute Support’s mission, came together to help the Afghans – the group calls themselves the Kabul Security Force (KSF).
"It doesn’t matter what country you are from we are all working together to reach the same goal, to make it more safe in Kabul, and train and advise the Afghan people,” said Danish Army 1st Lt. Claus Svendsen. Svendsen works as a platoon commander for his unit in the KSF.
The Kabul Security Force watches over the capital 24 hours a day within the Combined Joint Operations Center (CJOC). From the CJOC they work to facilitate the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces by providing eyes in the sky. On the ground, they are ready to react to any emergency in Kabul. They also support advisors from the operational level at the Kabul Garrison Command down to the tactical level at the checkpoints in the city.
Advisors interact as often as possible, upwards of 600 mounted missions and 1,000 dismounted missions a month.
A block away from one of the checkpoints sits the vacant German Embassy – a stark reminder that the enemy does not care who they hurt. More than 150 people died when a truck bomb went off there in May 2017. After that horrific day, Resolute Support leadership deemed it necessary to expand security outside the international district where diplomats frequently visit – the area is known as Kabul’s Enhanced Security Zone.
"These police officers and soldiers have a very complicated and dangerous job, we ask them to stand up in front of everybody that comes through the city and be that first line of defense,” said another advisor to the Afghans.
The Enhanced Security Zone (ESZ) is made up of 26 checkpoints and explosive detection equipment. Police Unit 01 is responsible for the ESZ to include the Ring of Steel and the international diplomatic district.
"If the police do their job correctly, people will live better, and be safer,” said Afghan National Police (ANP) Maj. Hussainyar Khalili, the Ring of Steel commander.
Every week, advisors from the KSF ensure each position is manned correctly and that the officers are using the explosive scanners properly. They also check the conditions and infrastructure of each checkpoint and assess if any improvements are necessary.
ANP Officer Rahihullah Mohammadi is from Kabul and said he cares deeply about his home, not just for himself, but for his three children.
"There is nothing better than security, if we have security there is everything,” said Mohammadi.
ANP Checkpoint Commander Zaki Hakimi went on and said that everyone deserves to feel safe.
"I am a police officer so that I can help my country and give my people an opportunity to have a better life,” said Hakimi.
Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.