URUZGAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers are now conducting independent operations in the ANA Route Clearance Company of the 4th Brigade, 205th Corps, following a Jan. 27 mission assessment and validation by the “A-Team,” the ANA mentorship team from the 1039th Engineer Company, Task Force Outlaw.
The U.S. and Afghan route clearance units built a partnership over several months, but the 1039th En. Co.’s time in theater is soon wrapping up.
To prepare for this, and ensure their Afghan forces could take and maintain the security lead, the “A-Team,” supervised a validation process that, “once completed, will allow the [4th Bde., of the 205th Corps] to conduct their own [route clearance] and run independent missions,” said Sgt. 1st Class Barry Curtis, 120th Engineer Battalion.
Today, in the Heart of the Uruzgan Province, the Afghan Route Clearance Company, 4th Bde., 205th Corps, is able to load up in their armored vehicles and travel outside their base in search of improvised explosive devices, without U.S. troops attached.
This was all made possible by the actions the Afghan soldiers took during their validation mission in late January.
The mission included going through areas of known enemy activity and hostile action.
The ANA led the mission with their 1039th counterparts following a small distance behind them.
The Afghans dismounted at multiple locations and cleared different areas throughout their day-long route clearance mission.
Although the mission was completed without incident, the ANA still showed that they were able to successfully maintain their own patrols without the supervision of coalition partners.
After the mission Curtis, said “They showed that they’re able to construct and carry out their own tactical field and safety procedures by performing well on this mission.”