Afghan and Australian Troops help improve Afghan lives in Southern Baluchi Valley Region

About 300 Afghan Nation­al Army (ANA) sol­diers and Aus­tralian sol­diers from the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force (MTF1) have con­duct­ed a tar­get­ed secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion through the South­ern Baluchi Val­ley over the past two weeks to bet­ter facil­i­tate Afghan gov­ern­ment devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties.

Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force, Lieu­tenant Colonel Jason Blain said that Oper­a­tion JENUB FAYDA (‘South­ern Advan­tage’ in Pash­tu) con­clud­ed with­out inci­dent and high­light­ed the impor­tant role that Aus­tralian troops play in train­ing local Afghans to par­tic­i­pate in ongo­ing oper­a­tions.

“One of the local elders said that increased secu­ri­ty would help build local con­fi­dence. He said that every time he sees the Aus­tralian flag fly­ing he knows his peo­ple will be well treat­ed,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said.

“That was reas­sur­ing and a fine indi­ca­tion of the great work our sol­diers have done in an area that was once dom­i­nat­ed by Tal­iban insur­gents.”

MTF1 troops and their ANA coun­ter­parts con­duct­ed day and night secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions through the local laneways, qualas (hous­ing com­plex­es) and fields. Sev­er­al Impro­vised Explo­sive Device com­po­nents and ammu­ni­tion caches were cap­tured dur­ing the two week oper­a­tion.

“The oper­a­tion was a great suc­cess and gained com­mu­ni­ty sup­port to con­struct a new secu­ri­ty post that will be manned in due course by Afghan Nation­al Police,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said.

“This demon­strates the trust that has been devel­oped in the com­mu­ni­ty by the Afghan sol­diers as well as our own.” Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said that the part­nered approach devel­oped ANA skills and has set the right con­di­tions for Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces (ANSF) to even­tu­al­ly con­duct these types of oper­a­tions by them­selves.

“We are pro­gress­ing down the road to being in a posi­tion where one day we can com­fort­ably and con­fi­dent­ly pass over secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions to the ANSF in Oruz­gan,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said.

“We have been mak­ing great inroads in build­ing the com­pe­ten­cy and con­fi­dence of the ANA troops and offi­cers to a lev­el where they feel com­fort­able tak­ing over oper­a­tions them­selves.”

A range of com­bined MTF1 and ANA surge oper­a­tions will be con­duct­ed over the com­ing months in the Baluchi and Mirabad val­leys as well as the Cho­ra area.

Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said MTF1 will con­tin­ue to focus on pro­vid­ing secu­ri­ty and sup­port­ing devel­op­ment and gov­er­nance by work­ing close­ly with the Afghan Gov­ern­ment, AusAID, the Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police, the Depart­ment of For­eign Affairs and Trade, and ISAF part­ners.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia