Image 1 of 1
Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) guardians receive AK-47's, bayonets, magazines and magazine pouches from U.S. Special Forces at Nerkh District Center, in Wardak province, Afghanistan, Friday, May 22, 2009. A grassroots-style pilot program, the APPF seeks to secure communities on the local level. The mission of the APPF program is to send the guardians back to their own villages to man checkpoints and conduct patrols, in an attempt to deny insurgent "safe havens" and extend the reach of the Afghan government. The United States government pays the guardians' salaries and provides vehicles and other equipment and U.S. Special Forces operatives facilitate and support the APPF checkpoints with the Afghan National Police and other Afghan agencies. While the guardians have been able to get established and begin work in Mayden Shahr and Jalrez districts, U.S. Special Forces and the APPF have met strong resistance in Nerkh district.