News: With help of villagers, ANA and paratroopers discover IED in Kuygar Village
Story by Staff Sgt. Frank Inman
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers and members of 2nd Platoon, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, based out of Combat Outpost Rahman Kheyl, discovered an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Kuygar Village, June 14, 2012.
Villagers approached and informed the patrolling ANA soldiers of 3rd Coy, 1st Kandak, that insurgents had placed the IED near a culvert.
“The villagers trust the ANA in our area, the ANA regularly get information from the people,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jeffery Dannemiller, of Cody, Wyo., platoon leader assigned to 2nd Plt., Company B, 3rd Bn., 509th Inf. Regt.
The initial mission was originally supposed to be ANA soldiers patrolling Kuygar Village in the early morning hours to push insurgents out to one of three blocking positions set up by the paratroopers, but once the villagers told the ANA about the IED, the mission changed.
That's when the paratroopers moved into the village from their blocking positions to help the ANA secure and cordon the village.
“The ANA has made a lot of improvements since we have been at Rahman Kheyl,” said Dannemiller. “They are one of the best companies in their battalion.”
Even though a lot of time, energy and planning went into the original mission, discovering an IED is still considered a success according to Dannemiller.
“Anytime we take an IED off of the battlefield without any men or equipment being damaged, is a success to me,” said Dannemiller.
Once the paratroopers secured the village and location of the IED, soldiers from the 706th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company arrived. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Caleb Wood, 706th EOD Company, 303rd EOD Bn., 45th Sustainment Brigade, approached the IED with caution before disabling the pressure plate trigger.
The IED, which contained 60 pounds of explosives was then safely detonated by the EOD team.
Immediately after the detonation, the ANA intercepted communications between insurgents of a planned attack on the U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers.
Despite the intercepted communiqué, the joint patrol interacted with more local villagers as they made their way back to COP Rahman Kheyl, without taking enemy contact.
As the fighting season starts to peak, so will the work and responsibilities of the ANA according to Dannemiller.
“Since there is no Afghan Uniform Police in our area of operation, the ANA have to do both jobs, and they do it pretty well,” Dannemiller added.