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Tuesday, January 4, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Bahrain given control over U.S. special forces security unit in Afghanistan

ABU DHABI — Bahrain has expanded its role in NATO's stabilization campaign in Afghanistan.


Bahrain has been granted authority over a special forces unit in the NATO deployment in Afghanistan. In late December, Bahraini forces were given control over the Special Security Forces Company-2, based in Camp Leatherneck, Middle East Newsline reported.

"I have every faith in the Bahraini SSFC organization and the training that you have received," U.S. Col. Lori Reynolds, commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, said.

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The company has been providing base security at Camp Leatherneck since May. Officials said the new Bahraini commander of the company would be Capt. Khalid Al Dosari, who replaced Capt. Munther Al Sobah, also a Bahraini national.

"We look forward to forming the same friendship with you as we have with the men of SSFC-2," Ms. Reynolds said.

Officials said Bahrain has also been training Afghan police. The Bahraini training program began in January 2010 as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council state's participation in the NATO mission.

The U.S. Marines trained Bahraini security forces to help in base security for Camp Leatherneck. Officials said the Americans and Bahrainis were living in the same quarters.

"We appreciate the hard work of the Marines who have made sure to increase the training level of the officers and the rangers of Bahrain Special Security Force," Al Sobah said.

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