News: ANA takes the lead during Operation TOR Kanjak
Story by Cpl. Adam Leyendecker
NAD 'ALI SOUTH, Afghanistan - British Royal Marines partnered with Afghan National Army forces to launch Operation TOR Kanjak in Nad ‘Ali South, May 14.
During the operation the ANA and 45 British commandos conducted patrols and established a presence in an area which had not previously seen coalition forces. The partnership was also backed by Marines from 2nd Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.
This marks the first time ANA soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 215th Corps searched compounds on their own.
On day one, Afghan soldiers from Heavy Weapons Company, 3rd Brigade, successfully located and destroyed three improvised explosive devices.
According to Sgt. Bruce Khoo, an ANA advisor of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Afghan forces have showed the ability to be independent and effective in finding IEDs during the operation.
While locating IEDs, Afghan soldiers and their counterparts took fire from insurgents and still held their ground.
“We want our people to know that we are here to stay,” said Sgt. Hilaluvvin, chief for 2nd Group Engineering Team, 3rd Brigade, 215th Corps.
ANA soldiers also took charge in establishing relationships with locals who expressed frustration about insurgents living in their villages.
“The insurgents are not treating the locals well, and they are sick of it,” said Capt. Muhammad Maroof, commander of Heavy Weapons Company. “The locals are happy coalition forces and ANA soldiers are here.”
Throughout the operation, locals and Afghan forces built a trusting relationship through communication and understanding of the mission.
“It’s good to have the ANA leading patrols, and the locals have been very welcoming to the ANA soldiers,” said Sgt. Ryan K. Napier, IED destroyer advisor for 101 Royal Engineer Regiment [EOD].