News: Force development general impressed with ANSF progress in Uruzgan
Story by Mark Doran
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - “The Afghans have come a long way and they continue to progress well.”
This is how Australian Brig. Gen. Mark Brewer, deputy commanding general, Force Development, HQ Regional Command – South, described the Afghan National Security Forces during a staff assistance visit to Tarin Kot May 15.
Two delegations of Afghan military leaders including the logistics chief, fires chief and the chief engineer from the 205th Hero Corps met with commanders of the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade while Brig. Gen. Abdali and key staff from the Operational Coordination Center – Regional met with the Operational Coordination Center – Provincial personnel at the Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
The delegations also inspected the new ANA barracks, which is close to completion at MNB-TK.
Brewer said the commanders discussed key operational priorities and sustainment challenges with the ANA command team, including the commander of the 4th Brigade, Col. Mohammad Rasul Khan.
“These regular meetings enable staff coordination of the main focus areas of logistics, counter-improvised explosives devices [CIED] and fires,” he said.
“The ANSF are in the lead for security and what we have to do now is to ensure they can maintain that security independently for the long term.
“The discussions held at the OCC-P talked through future planning and some of their challenges, including logistics challenges, as well as how the ANSF are coordinating operations in Uruzgan across the security pillars,” Brewer said.
The three ANSF security pillars that operate in Uruzgan are the ANA, the Afghan National Police and the National Directorate of Security.
Brewer said he traveled with the staff delegation from the OCC-R, which is based in Kandahar, and allowed them to reinforce the priorities for the ANSF operational coordination.
“These include the clear air-ground process for indirect fire, which is in place; coordinating casualty evacuation in Uruzgan as well as any response to an IED event,” he said.
“Our key focus areas are CIED, medical, sustainment [supply and maintenance] and fires because they are the main capabilities which enable the ANSF to operate independently,” Brewer said.
“Our aim is to set conditions so it’s not ISAF solving Afghan problems, its ANSF leadership solving ANSF problems. Our efforts over the months ahead will seal the deal in terms of their long term independence.”
Col. Simon Stuart, commander of Combined Team Uruzgan, said examples of ANSF effectiveness and independence in Uruzgan included their responses to insurgent threats, especially in the more remote areas.
“The insurgents continue to target the ANSF, but the increasingly confident response from the ANA and ANP is an encouraging sign,” Stuart said.
“Provincial leaders are engaged in resolving situations as they arise and insurgents are now finding traditional routes and ‘safe havens’ in the province are disrupted.”