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    ANSF conduct Operation Rescue on Highway 1

    ANSF conduct operation rescue on Highway 1

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Bob Yarbrough | U.S. Army Sgt. Jesse Harrington, left, a joint fires observer attached to the 4th...... read more read more

    WARDAK PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps, took the monumental task of clearing an area of Highway 1, in eastern Afghanistan, a major supply and transit route that leads directly to Kabul.

    Operation Nijat, which means “rescue” in English, was a one-week campaign conducted from June 11 -18 which included soldiers from the Afghan National Security Forces, including the Afghan Uniformed Police, the National Directorate of Security, and the 4th Brigades’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Route Clearance Company, and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Kandaks.

    With Afghan forces on either side of the highway, security forces swept from Combat Outpost Doshe Towp down Highway 1, through towns and villages to Combat Outpost Soltan Khel, looking for information, weapons, enemies of Afghanistan, or anything else that might disrupt the peace. The ANA troops from the south also cleared the north up to Soltan Khel.

    “The reason we put this name, Nijat, on the mission is because some of the people support the Taliban, or are the Taliban, and are stealing people’s property and bothering people,” said ANA Col. Abdul Sami Bakhshi, executive officer for the ANA’s 4th Inf. Bde., 203rd Corps, “That is why we called it Nijat, like rescue from these bad guys.”

    The command and control element was located at an observation post near Sayyidabad. U.S. Army advisers from the Security Forces Advise and Assist Team, or SFAAT, attached to 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, which advise the ANA’s 4th Inf. Bde. were also there. The SFAAT included field artillery advisers from 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th IBCT, who provided artillery guidance, if it was necessary.

    “Our role out here is to advise the Afghan army brigade staff here, to assist them where they need assistance conducting operations,” said U.S. Army Maj. Christian Thompson, a native of Larned, Kan., and the executive officer for the SFAAT advising the ANA’s 4th Inf. Bde., 203rd Corps. “But what we’ve come to find is that they’re executing this very well, with little assistance from us.”

    The operation received much deserved attention from both the ANA and the U.S. Army senior officials in the region.

    U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Clarence Chinn, deputy commanding officer for the 101st Airborne Division, visited the observation post, June 14, and ANA Lt. Gen. Muhlai, the executive officer for 203rd Corps visited the the following day. Chinn returned, June 17, with ANA Gen. Yaftali, commander of the ANA’s 203rd Corps. Each trip included briefings on the progress of the operation, as well as upcoming missions.

    During the week, ANA soldiers cleared through 11 villages along Hwy 1, finding 63 improvised explosive devices, and eight weapons caches. The ANSF forces killed nine enemies of Afghanistan, only losing one of their own. They also detained 14 in an effort to keep them off the battlefield and attempt to get more information about their organizations.

    Operation Nijat is an example of Afghan soldiers conducting operations with very little U.S. assistance. This mission demonstrated Afghans in the lead, securing their own country with their own forces.



    Date Taken: 06.18.2013
    Date Posted: 06.27.2013 02:05
    Story ID: 109336
    Location: WARDAK PROVINCE, AF 
    Hometown: LARNED, KS, US
    Hometown: PORTERVILLE, CA, US

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