The Special Relationship: Argylls and US Marines Repeat History in Helmand.March 19, 2011
Scottish soldiers and US Marines have been doing their bit for transatlantic relations, working closely for the past six months to improve the capability of the Afghan National Police (ANP).
Teams from The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (known as 5 SCOTS) and 1st Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) have been jointly responsible for the training of the ANP in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. It’s the first time they have worked together since the 1930s.
Canterbury-based 5 SCOTS, who recruit from central and western Scotland, are now in the final weeks of a seven month deployment to Helmand Province, during which they have fulfilled the role of Police Development and Advisory Training Team (PDATT) within Task Force Helmand.
The US Marines from the 1st Marine Division have formed a unit known as the Provincial Police Advisory Team (PPAT) and have worked alongside the Scottish troops making improvements in police recruiting, training and operations throughout Helmand. Both the Jocks and the Marines are based in Helmand’s provincial capital Lashkar Gah.
While the 5 SCOTS PDATT have had responsibility for policing in the key central Helmand districts of Nad-e Ali, Nahr-e Saraj and the city centre and outlying areas of Lashkar Gah, the US Marines have worked on improving the capabilities of the Provincial Police Headquarters.
In light of this recent partnership, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum, based in Stirling Castle and headed up by Major Bob Elliot, researched the Regimental Archives to establish whether there was any record of them working together previously.
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