Afghanistan — Australian and Afghan Soldiers Conduct Major Road Convoy

Last week approx­i­mate­ly 250 Afghan Nation­al Army and 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force (MTF‑1) sol­diers com­plet­ed Oper­a­tion TOR GHAR IV (‘Black Moun­tain’ in Pash­tu), a dan­ger­ous and com­plex re-sup­ply con­voy between Tarin Kowt and Kan­da­har in Afghanistan.

Tor Ghar journey across the Oruzgan and Kandahar desert
Aus­tralian Light Armoured Vehi­cles pro­vid­ed secu­ri­ty with supe­ri­or fire­pow­er dur­ing the 18 hr Tor Ghar jour­ney across the Oruz­gan and Kan­da­har desert.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge

The first leg from Tarin Kowt to Kan­da­har, a 150 kilo­me­tre road trip, involv­ing around 100 vehi­cles, was con­duct­ed with­out inci­dent in around 18 hours on 16 May. The return trip was com­plet­ed with­out inci­dent on 20–21 May. 

Offi­cer Com­mand­ing the MTF‑1 ele­ments on Oper­a­tion TOR GHAR IV, Major David Ryan, said the con­voy was the sec­ond major re-sup­ply activ­i­ty to be con­duct­ed by the Aus­tralian and Afghan sol­diers this year. 

“We con­duct­ed Op TOR GHAR III a cou­ple of months ago with our Afghan Nation­al Army coun­ter­parts – it went well, but need­ed some refine­ment in terms of Afghan Army plan­ning,” Major Ryan said. 

“This time the Afghan com­man­ders real­ly stepped up to the plate; plan­ning and exe­cut­ing a suc­cess­ful operation.” 

Afghan National Army 4th Brigade Operation Tor Ghar IV American air supported the Tor Ghar convoy during the 18 hour journey to Kandahar Airfield
Sol­diers from the Afghan Nation­al Army 4th Brigade and the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force pre­pare to depart Tarin Kowt on an 18 hour dri­ve to Kan­da­har.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge
A long line of Afghan and Aus­tralian vehi­cles con­voyed across the Oruz­gan and Kan­da­har deserts dur­ing Oper­a­tion Tor Ghar IV.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge
Amer­i­can air sup­port­ed the Tor Ghar con­voy dur­ing the 18 hour jour­ney to Kan­da­har Air­field.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge

The con­voy trav­els down one of the most dan­ger­ous roads in Afghanistan, requir­ing exten­sive clear­ance of impro­vised explo­sive device threats. 

“Our engi­neers and Afghan engi­neers worked shoul­der-to-shoul­der along the high­way search­ing for threats to the con­voy,” Major Ryan said. 

“The oper­a­tion was con­duct­ed with­out inci­dent – it is tes­ta­ment to a well planned and exe­cut­ed team effort involv­ing Afghan sol­diers, MTF‑1 sol­diers, Afghan Nation­al Police, and engi­neer­ing and heli­copter assets from ISAF Forces.” 

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

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