KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - An enemy insurgent team was killed, and their weapons destroyed, after coalition forces observed the team firing an 82mm recoilless rifle towards a coalition forces' base near Ghariban Sept. 11.
Coalition forces observed three suspicious persons near the village of Burmohammed carrying the recoilless rifle. One of the insurgents then fired a single 82mm round towards Strong Point Gariban, a nearby base occupied by Soldiers with Combined Task Force Spartan's 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment. Aerial reconnaissance assets observed the team move back to a compound to the south, and then proceeded to head west on foot to meet up with another insurgent on a motorcycle.
Coalition forces then observed the insurgent on the motorcycle drive east past Abbotsford. Coalition commanders believed the insurgent was initially setting up another attack on Gariban, but continued moving further east, where commanders believed he was possibly going to engage Forward Operating Base Pasab to the north.
Combat helicopter pilots flying overhead were given clearance to engage the insurgent on the motorcycle, and fired a Hellfire missile, killing the insurgent instantly. A second insurgent fleeing the scene was also engaged with a Hellfire missile, killing him as well. The 82mm rifle was destroyed during the engagement.
The commander of 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, Lt. Col.
Michael Katona, said the killing of the insurgent weapons team, along with the destruction of the 82mm recoilless rifle was detrimental to insurgent operations in the area.
"The destruction of this 82mm recoilless rifle cell will have a lasting effect on insurgent operations in the area of operations," Lt.
Col. Katona said.