News: Bobcats help Afghan allies leap into a brighter day
Story by Maj. Joel Anderson
FORWARD OPERATING MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan – Combat leaders of 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment recently hosted the Afghan counterparts for an opportunity to refine their interoperability skills for upcoming operations.
Operation Bobcat Leap took place at Strong Point Tarnak, home of the Bobcat Battalion, 1-5th Infantry.
Bobcat conducted this ROC drill shoulder to shoulder with the Afghan allies, the soldiers of 6th Kandak (Independent Battalion), 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, Afghan National Army.
“A ROC drill is a rehearsal Of concept,” explained Bobcat operations officer, or S3, Maj. “Tex” Williams. “Our goal is to decisively disrupt insurgent communication and interdict, or cut off their rat lines…or their supply lines in other words that they historically have used to transport supplies and components for their operations.”
Capt. Abel Seiple continued, “that’s right. What you just saw here was for an operation that will mark the first combined air-assault operation conducted by our Afghan partners side-by-side with us. We have now successfully established a more detailed level of understanding about how the insurgents operate in the local area.”
Bobcats in the animal kingdom are cunning, sly, and ferocious and it’s no different here in Afghanistan.
After completing this exhaustive and comprehensive rehearsal, the leadership of both elements, Afghan and U.S. went off to perform precombat inspections (PCIs) of their soldiers and equipment, not separately, but together, shoulder-to-shoulder, or as Afghans say, “shona-ba-shona”.
One of the most important things that came out of the ROC drill was conducting mission preparations. Once the ROC drill was complete, it was time to move on to the actual mission - the air assault.
Capt. Seiple, battalion recon, or reconnaissance platoon leader said, “Overall, I thought the ANA troops did fine on the air assault. They showed good initiative”
In south-central Afghanistan, 6th Kandak and the 1-5th Bobcats will continue to use operations of this kind to help the local Afghan populace leap forward to a brighter day.