Commander Reconstruction Team works on rebuilding Afghanistan. Captain Twan (39) is the commander of a Dutch provincial team that works on the reconstruction of Uruzgan. “In our work it is important that you have the confidence of the people. Make a chat in a while, make sure it clicks. Afghans have a good sense of humor and are very hospitable. They always invite you for a cup of tea or ask if you continue to eat, “says the commander. “During our work we are protected by the battle group, combat units of the army. They take care of our safety, so that we can quietly do our work “.
The work of the mission team consists of setting up projects, varying from hitting a well to larger plans for, for example, the construction of a school, mosque, bridge or community house. The Dutch carry out some 170 projects in Uruzgan. Twan: “Last time a headmaster was at the gate whose school was destroyed. We then put a plan on paper, consulted with various Afghan and Dutch parties and then went to work. The Afghans have already found their way to our camp. ” The humor of the good-natured Brabander comes in handy when dealing with the local population. This appears when the commanders of the reconstruction team consult with the mayor of Tarin Kowt about the construction of a police station. The meeting starts with some quips. The tone has been set.
According to the Boxmeer captain, the build-up of Afghanistan is steady but prosperous.
“Sometimes you feel that you are going back in time four centuries. It will then take some time before this country is completely rebuilt. It is nice that we can help the Afghans, but in the end they have to do it themselves. I would like to go back in a year or five to see what they made of it “.
Captain Twan joined the army in 1989 and is now stationed at the Panzer-Genie Battalion in Oirschot. In 1999 he was first sent to Kosovo. Twan: “Meanwhile, my wife and I have a four-year-old son. That makes such a broadcast a lot heavier. I often call home and when you hear the voice of your wife or son, you do it well again. You often hear a word about how they are doing. I have my heart in this work, so it’s all worth it. You build something together because we are all here to survive. If something happens to someone, that has a huge impact. Every victim is too much “.