U.S. Army captain and Afghans
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US army training of Afghan police deemed crucial

U.S. Army captain and Afghans
U.S. Army Capt. Dave Panian, left, bows his head in frustration as he negotiates with Col. Khalil, right, the district police chief of Farah city, through Panian’s interpreter Zaki, center. Panian and his men had made a perilous journey to Farah to secure the monthly salaries for the Afghan police officers he is responsible for training. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Police Chief
District police chief Haji Khudaydad is surrounded by his men as he prepares to make a 7-hour off-road journey through the desert in the middle of the night to get back to his district headquarters near Bala Buluk, Afghanistan. Some of Khudaydad’s family members have been killed by the Taliban and he has a $30,000 bounty on his head. A small U.S. Army team has worked closely for months with Khudaydad’s men to train them properly. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Soldiers Discussing
Panian, center, and U.S. Army Capt. Michael Noriega, second from right, take part in a discussion about a confrontion that took place the night before between Afghan police and Afghan army units with Afghan army 1st Sgt. Delagha, right, through the translator, Zaki, left. Panian had called the meeting to promote harmony between the two forces. The army had tried to force its way through a police checkpoint on a nearby road, and a firefight nearly ensued. A small team of U.S. Army mentors has been training with local police in Farah province for the last six months. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)