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Nawa Leaders, Marines Discuss Security, Human Services During Shura

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghanistan's Nawa District Gov. Abdul Manaf and Lt. Col. William T. McCollough, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, met with local Afghans to discuss security and human service concerns during a shura at Patrol Base Fielder, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Nov. 10.

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Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division Public Affairs
Story by Lance Cpl. John McCall
Date: 11.19.2009
Posted: 11.19.2009 10:15

A shura serves as a meeting for Afghans to voice their opinions and concerns to leaders who have the power to change things.

"You have to come together and work with each other," said Manaf. "The enemy can't hurt you if you outnumber him."

McCollough urged the people of Nawa to help stop the violence and turmoil caused by members of the Taliban.

Improvised explosive devices have become the enemy's weapon of choice in disrupting the battalion's efforts in keeping Nawa safe.

"Things have improved here, but mines are still being planted," McCollough said. "I am asking you for your help until we reach the day where mines are no longer being put in the road."

Manaf talked with a group of village elders, allowing them to voice their opinions on current issues happening in the area. Access to water was one of the major problems locals addressed. The district governor assured them that help was on the way.

"We are having engineers fly in from other countries to help get water to you," Manaf said.

As the Marines of 1/5 near the end of their seven-month deployment, Marines continue to stay focused on providing security for the people of Nawa.

"We are doing the best that we can to get the bad people out of your community," McCollough said. "We want to help you, but you have got to trust us and trust the ANA (Afghan national army)."