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    2nd Brigade, 201st Corps secures route to Chapa Dara

    2nd Bde, 201st Corps secures route to Chapa Dara

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class E. L. Craig | 6th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 201st Afghan National Army at Nangalam base pose for a photo,...... read more read more

    KUNAR, Afghanistan – Under the darkness of night, three movement groups of 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, Team Kunar, Soldiers lined Forward Operating Base Wright’s helicopter landing zone.

    Chemical lights and night vision goggles provided the only lamination, as they awaited air transportation that would bring them to, Nangalam, a small remote Afghan forward operating base, where they would stage for more than a week.

    The 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, Team Laghman, provided artillery support elements to assist with security during the mission.

    “3rd Squadron is sending key leaders to Nangalam to advise, and assist if needed, in one of the Afghan National Security Forces most decisive missions, as the end of the 2013 fighting season approaches,” said U.S. Army Capt. William Brink, spokesman, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

    As 3rd Squadron heads out to advise and 5th Battalion joins them to add to security it is clear that the mission’s success, however lies directly with the ANSF.

    “The operation’s goal is [for the Afghan National Army 201st Corps’ 2nd Brigade] to clear and secure a route to the Chapa Dara District Center, currently secured [by the Afghan Uniformed Police]," said U.S. Army Capt. Gordon Rutledge, squadron fires support officer, 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, “but [the district center] is like an island alone, surrounded by hostile area,” said the Madison, Wis,. native.

    The ANA planned to clear and secure a specific route thru the Western Pesh Valley that leads to Chapa Dara and tie it to the rest of the Pesh River Valley that is currently secured via a chain of manned outposts.

    Due to losses during past attempts to clear this route and attempts that albeit successful, were not sustained; that ANSF ended its attempts to take this area, until now.

    Elements of the Afghan National Police and other members of the ANSF joined the ANA - a crucial element to this mission. A sustained success will highlight the capability of all ANSF pillars to work together; something that is yet to be consistently seen.

    “The biggest win here in that this is a combined operation of all ANSF pillars,” said Lt. Col. James Deore, commander 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment. “Every single ANSF security force is represented within this formation,” said the Willis, Texas, native.

    As the soldiers arrive and leave the HLZ, leaders begin identifying sleeping areas, guard shifts and space needed for constant operations in what resembled an abandoned building.

    Meanwhile, soldiers unloaded what seemed like an “unlimited” supply of water and meals, ready-to-eat.

    Before long the operation was underway however, these U.S. troops did not load up vehicles and roll out or move to contact with the enemy. The ANSF are clearing this route alone.
    Rutledge said the ANA have been firing artillery and mortars all day supporting themselves, they haven’t requested any coalition forces assistance.

    “The coalition’s assistance has been minimal. The focus for us has been advising and battle tracking, said Rutledge. The only support we’ve provided is a fly by for a show-of-force,” said the Wisconsin native.

    An ANA artillery section supporting the mission fired numerous D-30 fire missions supporting their infantry brothers engaged in fire fights with the Taliban. Although, ANA soldiers were met with resistance during the start of the mission, they were able to push through.

    “They have the game one hundred percent on their own,” said Rutledge.

    (This is the first of a two part series on Operation Storm of the Pesh Valley)



    Date Taken: 09.25.2013
    Date Posted: 09.26.2013 05:45
    Story ID: 114288
    Location: KUNAR PROVINCE, AF 
    Hometown: MADISON, WI, US
    Hometown: WILLIS, TX, US

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