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    ANA, ANP supported by Marines, conduct Operation Eastern Expansion



    Story by Cpl. Joshua Hines 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force   

    MUSA QAL'EH, Afghanistan - Over several days, Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, supported the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, in a joint operation to secure the town of Deh Kerez and expand the area controlled by the Afghan government, east of Musa Qal’eh, Oct. 13.

    In order to secure Deh Kerez, the ANP and ANA supported by 1st Bn., 8th Marines, surrounded the town, trapping the Taliban inside, after which ANP and Marine partnered patrols swept through the streets of the town. Moving house to house, the patrols cleared the town of the Taliban’s presence, searching for improvised explosive devises, IED building materials, hidden weapons and drug caches.

    After removing the Taliban presence in Deh Kerez an ANP and Marine partnered security post was established.

    Recently the town of Deh Kerez had been taken over by Taliban members causing the residents to flee and seek help from the district government.

    “The Taliban would come in and take food from the people, force them to hide their equipment and explosives, then attack Afghan National Security Forces from homes in the town,” said Capt. Daniel F. O’Brien, commanding officer of Company A, 1st Bn., 8th Marines. “Eventually the Taliban set up checkpoints and tried to prevent local residents from fleeing the violence.”

    To break the Taliban’s grip on Deh Kerez, capturing the town and setting up a partnered security post was decided to be the best course of action.

    “The district Chief of Police was the first to suggest securing the town, and he had a definite plan on how to do it,” said O’Brien.

    Commander Koka explained his reasoning for securing Deh Kerez and standing up a partnered security post.

    “Every day we would receive gun fire from the town and the people were very unhappy. Setting up a post was the best way to help and make the people happier,” said Commander Koka, district chief of police of Musa Qal’eh, through an interpreter.

    By establishing a partnered security post, the Afghan government will have a lasting presence that will prevent the Taliban from returning to Deh Kerez. According to 1st Lt. Timothy Kudo, executive officer of Company A, 1st Bn., 8th Marines,

    “By cutting off the Taliban’s ability to reach the heart of Musa Qal’eh, we significantly limit their ability to intimidate the people. This is going to make governance more effective and extend the reach of the Afghan government,” Kudo said.

    After successfully taking control of Deh Kerez, the town’s residents began to make their way back home again.

    “The people are coming back in droves,” said Kudo. “Once abandoned streets are now filled with children playing.”

    Kudo went on to say “This was an operation the people of Deh Kerez asked the ANP for and we were able to help respond to their needs.”

    With a constant government presence in Deh Kerez, the areas on the outskirts of the district center where the Taliban still operate, are going to see a significant difference between life under the Taliban and life under the Afghan government.

    “Word is going to get out about life under the Afghan government and it’s going to delegitimize the Taliban throughout the area,” Kudo added.

    With the new security post, Deh Kerez’s residents can look forward to a safe future without the intimidation of the Taliban and will have a chance to see the good works being done by their government.



    Date Taken: 10.13.2010
    Date Posted: 10.28.2010 23:56
    Story ID: 59025
    Location: DEH KEREZ, AF

    Web Views: 298
    Downloads: 8