News: Operation North Tour 2: A new step towards better governance in Afghanistan
By Cte. (OF-3) José Luis Cristobal Barcón
Regional Command-West Public Affairs
QALA-E-NOW, Afghanistan – Operation "North Tour 2," which consisted of a logistical convoy from the Spanish base in Qala-I-Naw to Bala Murghab, having security provided by coalition forces, took place during the third week of June in Badghis province.
The supplies will reach a company of Afghan Border Police that deploys in several observation posts and other Afghan units deployed along the border with Turkmenistan.
The convoy was made up of American, Afghan, Italian and Spanish units and it was organized in various speed ranges. Consisting of various tactical vehicles of the International Security Force in Afghanistan, tactical vehicles of the Afghan Army kandak (battalion) deployed in Qala-I-Naw, and a number of trucks, it left Qala-I-Naw in the early hours of Wednesday, June 20.
The U.S. Army provided a unit for clearing out the roads, a logistics unit, some recovery trucks and a combat unit. The Afghan National Army participated with a mobile command post, a reinforced rifle company, a logistics group, a reconnaissance company and a clearing routes section, and the Italian army provided a protection company. The Spanish army contributed with a stabilizing health cell, “Soria” stations (satellite and various band radio integrators) and vehicle recovery. In addition, a company of ASPFOR XXXI was responsible for force protection in the area all along Lithium route.
Lithium route (route of light), which Spain assisted in the completeion, is a key communications channel to ensure the backbone of the province of Badghis and make viable governance in this part of Afghanistan.
At the present time, this route is fully operating between Qala-I-Naw and Ludina, where the Combat Outpost "Bernardo de Galvez II" is located. Spanish army there has an outstanding company working intensively with an Afghan Army kandak, to finish off the route before October, reaching the town of Mangan. Between Mangan and Bala Murghab the route is being implemented by the Italian army.
The convoy has undergone several harassments by insurgents on its way. They were mainly stationed at isolated sites of the route and they were cleared up by force protection units, without any consequences for ISAF forces.
The convoy reached its destination June 23, highlighting the importance of the Lithium route, the excellent collaboration between different nations ISAF units and the growing Afghan army preparation carrying out their duties, being mentored in this case, by mentoring and advisory Spanish army teams.
The significant event of the deployment of an Afghan police company along the border with Turkmenistan is an important milestone in the progress towards achieving a safe environment in the region, because there takes place major activities concerning organized crime and insurgent movements, and it is a traditional crossing point for smuggling and drug trafficking.
The Spanish army, in addition to logistical support, performs mentoring and liaison, providing security to the area with two companies deployed between Qala-I-Naw and Mangan, and securing major vulnerable points of the route through the implementation of a safety bubble.
The Spanish contingent ASPFOR XXXI is formed on the basis of the Paratrooper Brigade (BRIPAC) and is deployed in theatre since mid-June. This is the fifth time the BRIPAC deploys in Afghanistan and will remain for a period of approximately five months.
Date Posted:06.28.2012 04:16
Location: QALA-E-NOW, AF
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