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"Fair cop" for Sangin Royal Marines

Royal Marine Corporal Gordon McCrae helping train members of the Afghan National Police in Sangin, Northern Helmand
Royal Marine Corporal Gordon McCrae helping train members of the Afghan National Police in Sangin, Northern Helmand
Royal Marine Corporal Gordon McCrae helping train members of the Afghan National Police in Sangin, Northern Helmand

Royal Marines from 40 Commando are helping to train members of the Afghan National Police in Sangin.

As little as year ago the town was empty and largely destroyed due to fighting. Now, as part of the ongoing reconstruction, members of the Afghan National Police (ANP) are receiving assistance from Royal Marines Corporal Gordon McCrae, 35, from North Ayrshire.

In his role with the Civil and Military Co-operation team and an ANP Mentor, Gordon has been training and patrolling with the ANP for the last 4 and a half months. He said:

“Marked progress has been made. Trust has grown with the local people and the Police can now work much more independently. The work we are doing here is all about our effort to get the Police and Judiciary System ready for the day when ISAF leave.”

40 Commando’s Bravo Company recognised that they can take advantage of the improved security by involving the locals who are returning to the area and the Royal Marines are now implementing a 10-year plan for Sangin. Teams of Locally-Employed Contractors can now be seen clearing rubble for new buildings to go up and preparing the main road for tarmac, while children – both boys and girls – are ignoring Taliban intimidation and attending the newly-opened school.  When interviewed about the intimidation, one child remarked:

“The Taliban tried to stop me coming to school but I just put my books under my clothes and come by a different route.”

Captain Leon Marshall, who is 28 and from North Yorkshire, commented:

“The Taliban do attempt to intimidate the locals but the desire of the people of Sangin for a prosperous and secure future is greater than any fear.  Developing the Police into a credible, trustworthy force is part of demonstrating that the democratically-elected Government is a better option than the Taliban.”