Afghanistan — British soldiers deliver transition to Nad ‘Ali

British troops in Nad ‘Ali have helped Afghan forces take on more of the bur­den for secu­ri­ty in the region, facil­i­tat­ing the process of tran­si­tion.

One of three new check­points in north­ern Nad ‘Ali [Pic­ture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Sol­diers from A Com­pa­ny, 1st Bat­tal­ion The Princess of Wales’s Roy­al Reg­i­ment (1 PWRR), known as Saler­no Com­pa­ny, have seen sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in their area of oper­a­tions dur­ing their tour, allow­ing the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces (ANSF) to take on more respon­si­bil­i­ty for secu­ri­ty through­out the district. 

Saler­no Com­pa­ny arrived in Hel­mand in Sep­tem­ber of last year, tak­ing over from J Com­pa­ny, 42 Com­man­do Roy­al Marines, and the sol­diers found them­selves under dai­ly attack from insur­gents in both the check­points they occu­pied and while they were out on patrol. 

Cap­tain Fras­er Hunter, Saler­no Com­pa­ny Sec­ond-in Com­mand, said: 

“We took over the fight from J Com­pa­ny in Sep­tem­ber and spent the first few months of the tour under reg­u­lar attack from the insurgents. 

“There were very few ANSF in the area when we arrived, and we were most­ly patrolling on our own. It was clear that we need­ed to work close­ly with the Afghan forces to clear the insur­gents from the area and allow the ANSF to estab­lish a pres­ence in the area to pro­vide their own security.” 

In Decem­ber, work­ing close­ly with the Afghan Army and Police, head­ed by oth­er ele­ments of 1 PWRR, Saler­no Com­pa­ny took part in two major oper­a­tions to clear insur­gents from Nad ‘Ali and estab­lish an ANSF presence. 

The first oper­a­tion cleared one of the main routes through the area link­ing Gereshk to the Nad ‘Ali dis­trict cen­tre, allow­ing the estab­lish­ment of three new Afghan Uni­form Police (AUP) check­points. This oper­a­tion opened up the road, allow­ing the move­ment of goods and local peo­ple between bazaars in the area. 

The sec­ond oper­a­tion cleared insur­gents from the agri­cul­tur­al area sur­round­ing the Shamalan Canal. This allowed the Afghan Nation­al Army to estab­lish check­points along the canal to pre­vent the insur­gents from rein­fil­trat­ing the area. 

Cap­tain Hunter said: 

“These oper­a­tions have meant that the ANSF have been able to oper­ate inde­pen­dent­ly in the area, and have been able to respond to the needs of the population. 

“The local peo­ple now feel that secu­ri­ty is vast­ly improved in their area, and are now active­ly sup­port­ing the ANSF. The AUP check­point com­man­ders in the area have built up a good rap­port with the local peo­ple, and have become pop­u­lar mem­bers of the local communities.” 

Saler­no Com­pa­ny have hand­ed over check­points to the ANSF, and from Decem­ber the dis­trict has offi­cial­ly tran­si­tioned, mean­ing the ANSF have tak­en over respon­si­bil­i­ty for secu­ri­ty in the area. 

The last months of the tour have been qui­eter for 1 PWRR, with a sig­nif­i­cant drop in insur­gent activ­i­ty, due to the clear­ance of insur­gents from the area and the estab­lish­ment of a frame­work of secu­ri­ty pro­vid­ed by the ANSF

Major Phill Mox­ey, Offi­cer Com­mand­ing Saler­no Com­pa­ny, said: 

“I am extreme­ly proud of what our sol­diers have achieved in the past six months. We arrived into an area the insur­gents still want­ed to con­trol and they fought us for it. 

“We and our ANSF part­ners pre­vailed and we now see a trans­formed secu­ri­ty sit­u­a­tion with locals free to live their dai­ly lives in a secure area, with secu­ri­ty pro­vid­ed first and fore­most by fel­low Afghans.” 

A Com­pa­ny will soon hand over their area of respon­si­bil­i­ty to D Com­pa­ny, 1st Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Welsh. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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