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An Afghan Public Protection Force squad settles in to their to their checkpoint in Mayden Shahr district, Wardak, Afghanistan, Thursday, May 21, 2009. The 83 graduates of a three-week training course will join 243 others in a grassroots-style pilot program designed to secure communities on the local level. The guardians will return 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.