Australian-partnered Afghan Soldiers Coming To The Fore In Oruzgan Province

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1st May 2010, 12:17pm - Views: 489





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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE



Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545


MSPA 144/10

Friday, 30 April 2010


Australian-partnered Afghan soldiers coming to the fore during

intensive week of Operations in Oruzgan


Operations in Oruzgan during the past week have put a serious dent in the Taliban

insurgents’ campaign of fear and intimidation against the local population.

On Anzac Day, as part of Operation PSARLAY ASKAR (SPRING SOLDIER in

Pashtu) an Afghan National Army patrol partnered with the1st Mentoring Task Force,

discovered and safely recovered a large cache of hidden weapons, ammunition and

Improvised Explosive Device components in the Mirabad Valley region.

The large cache contained three 107mm rockets, 27 Rocket Propelled Grenades,

thousands of rounds of ammunition and a small quantity of various small arms and

machine gun ammunition.

Commanding Officer of the 1st Mentoring Task Force, Lieutenant Colonel Jason

Blain, said the cache find was significant for both its size and that Afghan National

Army troops found, secured and safely removed the items.

“The discovery and capture of this cache demonstrates the ever-improving capability

of the Afghan National Army and it’s a major dent in the insurgent arsenal in the

Mirabad area,” Lieutenant Colonel Blain said.

“We have been mentoring our Afghan National Army partners in counter-Improvised

Explosive Device procedures for some time and their performance in this incident

clearly shows that it is paying off.”

The Afghan and Australian soldiers were clearing a quala (walled housing complex)

when an alert Afghan soldier observed an irregularity in a haystack close to a quala

compound.

Afghan National Army troops secured the location, before Afghan engineers

confirmed the irregularity in the mud floor was suspicious. Using techniques taught

by Australian and Dutch troops over recent weeks, Afghan engineers conducted a

clearance operation revealing the large cache.

In a separate incident on 24 April, the 1st Mentoring Task Force soldiers and their

partner Afghan National Army element foiled a possible assassination attempt against

an Afghan National Police Commander.

The dismounted patrol was moving through the Mirabad Valley region when it was

approached by an Afghan man who reported a suspected Improvised Explosive

Device outside the commander’s house. This device was destroyed by ADF

personnel.

“We are experiencing increasing support and involvement from the local people all

over Oruzgan – from Gizab all the way down to Tarin Kowt we are seeing local

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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE



Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

Media Releases are available via e-mail if you register at www.defence.gov.au/media

people that have an increased trust in the Afghan National Security Forces and a

willingness to seek our assistance,” Lieutenant Colonel Blain said.

“The local people are fed up with the Taliban and just want get on with a peaceful

life.”

A total of five caches and three Improvised Explosive Devices were recovered or

safely destroyed by the 1st Mentoring Task Force and its partnered Afghan forces

during the past week.

The continuing development of the Afghan National Security Forces is a significant

step toward longer-term stability in Afghanistan.

Media note:

Imagery is available at: 



Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664









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