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    Interaction with locals brings prosperity in Rahim Kalay

    Interaction with locals brings prosperity in Rahim Kalay

    Photo By Cpl. Brian Gabriel Jr. | An Irish Guards soldier interacts with one of the children living in Rahim Kalay,...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Brian Gabriel Jr. 

    Regional Command Southwest

    RAHIM KALAY, Afghanistan – The soldiers of 4th Company, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards are finding that constant interaction with the local community is just as essential to fighting the insurgency as kinetic operations. Some of the British soldiers were able reap the benefits of their work during a patrol outside Patrol Base Rahim, Afghanistan, Feb. 4.

    The purpose behind the early morning patrol was twofold. While the Irish Guards were maintaining the security they’ve worked to establish over the past months, they also gathered intelligence on potential improvised explosive device threats.

    Sgt. Carl Laverty, a platoon sergeant with 4th Company, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, stopped numerous times during the routine security patrol from PB Rahim to Observation Post Ernie to interact with Rahim Kalay locals.

    “It’s a counterinsurgency war, so it’s all about the people,” Laverty said. “To win the war, you’ve got to engage with the local population as much as possible.”

    Laverty believes that engaging the local populace and gathering intelligence on IEDs massively improves the safety of both his soldiers and people who call Rahim Kalay home.

    “In the area we were in today, we’ve had an IED strike there in the last month,” Laverty said. “It’s very important that we can remove the IEDs. It allows the local population freedom of movement around the area and so that it doesn’t injure local nationals. We’ve had a few instances where kids have stood on IEDs going about their day.”

    The 27-year-old added that the Taliban ultimately hurt themselves by placing IEDs so close to commonly used areas in Rahim Kalay. Instances where friends and family are maimed or killed by IEDs only push locals to help the Irish Guard soldiers, as they found out during the patrol.

    “One of the local nationals was fed up with the Taliban and had a brother who stood on an IED, so he was more than willing to let us know where they were,” Laverty said.

    In addition to the Irish Guards’ aggressive push into the Taliban stronghold of Rahim Kalay, Laverty attributes his unit’s successes during his tour to the cooperative village residents.

    “Three months ago, we couldn’t have went that far into the green zone,” Laverty said. “The local nationals are so happy we’re there because they can go about farming their fields knowing that there are no IEDs there.”

    While the Irish Guards soldiers may be taking a well-deserved break from fighting due to improved security, Laverty ensures that they’re not resting on their laurels. He and his fellow soldiers will continue to utilize the relationships they have worked hard to establish for the remainder of their tour.

    “We’re going into a different season now, where the crops are going to be growing,” Laverty said. “Therefore, Taliban can move more freely without being seen as much. But again, if you got locals on your side, they’re going to let you know where the Taliban are. The more time you spend with the local nationals, the more information you’re going to gain and the less chances of the Taliban moving without us knowing about it.”



    Date Taken: 02.11.2011
    Date Posted: 02.11.2011 04:47
    Story ID: 65223
    Location: RAHIM KALAY, AF

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