Marines are ‘player coaches’ in Kajaki, commander says


Afghan Uniform Police Class 1-12 receive recognition at their graduation ceremony at the Sofla Precinct Station in Kajaki, Afghanistan, on April 9. The AUP are being advised by members of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejune, N.C. (James J. Lee / Staff)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — With the war in Afghanistan beginning to wind down, the mission for Marines there is evolving.

Just ask Lt. Col. Kevin Trimble, commander of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. He sees his troops as “player coaches” for the Afghan forces, and he acknowledges the transition to Afghan control will come more quickly than it did in Marjah and other districts in Helmand province.

“The whole thing is about what is ‘Afghan right’ and what is ‘Kajaki right,'” he said. “We’re doing this fast. Is this Marjah? No. But it has never been Marjah.”

Those are among the details in a long-form story Marine Corps Times posted Monday out of my embed here in Afghanistan.

I’ll have several more detailed reports out of Kajaki, where I spent two weeks on the ground with 1/8.

We realize there are a number of Battle Rattle readers who may not otherwise see the hard-news reports, so we wanted to point them out here.

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About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

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