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Afghan army has new capabilities
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LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — The Afghan national army completed construction of the first helicopter landing zone, or HLZ, on Sept. 16 in Camp Maiwand in Logar province.
HLZ Hanif was named after Afghan national army Maj. Hanif, of the 4th Infantry Brigade, 203rd Corps Brigade Aviation Officer, who had a large role in the preparation of the site.
U.S. Army Capt. Jeremy Dillard, an adviser with the 36th Engineer Brigade Security Forces Advise and Assist Team attached to 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, saw the project through from conception to the first helicopter landing Sept. 16.
The ANA wasted no time after an old living area, filled with trash and shipping containers, was designated for the HLZ.
“Now the HLZ is completely clear. No debris, no trash,” Dillard said “It’s all gone and it’s ready to go.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Austin Ballard, a geospatial engineer with 4th IBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, assisted with the mapping and analysis of the terrain for its suitability to be a helicopter landing zone.
“It’s important for them to have an HLZ so they can continue their mission on their own in the future, after we’ve left here,” he said.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kelvin Miller, the 4th IBCT aviation-safety officer, gave the ANA aviation element guidance on several areas, but said the Afghans did most of the work themselves.
“The whole idea was to train the ANA on what it takes to establish an HLZ, as well as all the procedural and safety [requirements],” Miller said.
HLZ Hanif has the potential to significantly enhance Camp Maiwand’s sustainability, he added.

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