News: ANSF, ISAF conduct joint clearing operations in Kandahar
Story by Pfc. Nathan Thome
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Afghan national security forces and International Security Assistance Forces conducted joint clearing operations in villages west of Kandahar City, Dec. 6-12, in an effort to improve security.
Afghan national civil order police and Afghan national police led the joint patrols with soldiers from 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, where they cleared villages and houses while collecting assessments of security concerns from local residents.
Partnering with the Afghan police during this operation helped 1BCT, 4ID with its overall mission of mentoring the ANSF so they can take over the security of Kandahar without the assistance of international forces
Forces conducted house to house searches after receiving consent from the head of the household. The searches were conducted to gain atmospherics of the area and sit down and address security concerns with the local populous.
“We are making sure that the Taliban aren’t using the villagers’ homes to fabricate improvised explosive devices or conduct other insurgent activities,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew DeVries, a squad leader for 4th Squad, Company A, 1-22IN, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
“By engaging the residents, we can better keep the community safe,” said Pfc. Matthew Truxel, a rifleman with 3rd Plt, Company A, 1-22IN, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “It also helps us keep out those who don’t have a reason to be there.”
“The Afghan police did a great job leading these patrols,” said Spc. Jeff Lamica, a gunner with 1st Squad, Company A, 1-22IN, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “They worked hard right along-side their ISAF partners.”
“ANSF and ISAF have a great relationship, which played a major role in these operations,” said Col. Ghulam Farooq, the 3rd Brigade 2nd Kandak commander. “The operation went as smoothly as it did because the Afghan police and ‘Raider’ brigade work so well together.”
Farooq added that the mentorship of 1BCT has enabled the Afghan police to grow in their ability to increase and maintain the security of the district.
Because of the progress by the ANCOP and ANP – insurgent activity has greatly decreased – making it safer for the villagers to walk through the streets of Kandahar, said Farooq.
“The residents are happy with our work and are excited to see us when we patrol through their villages,” said Farooq. “With our continued partnership with ‘Raider’ brigade, Taliban activity will continue to diminish and we will take complete control of the area.”