Afghans and Australians work for a secure Uruzgan

The last week of Jan­u­ary saw Afghan Nation­al Army (ANA) sol­diers and their Aus­tralian men­tors remove sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ties of explo­sives, ord­nance and weapons from insur­gents locat­ed with­in the Baluchi Val­ley area of Uruz­gan Province.

This includ­ed an insur­gent bomb-mak­ing facil­i­ty, which was dis­cov­ered on 25 Jan­u­ary and con­tained more than 400kg of explo­sives and 20 pre-pre­pared Impro­vised Explo­sive Devices (IEDs). Numer­ous small­er cache finds also removed insur­gent weapons and bombs from the area.

Men­tor­ing Team Leader Lieu­tenant Alex David­son believed the cache finds had come at a piv­otal time, as the Afghan win­ter gave way to the warmer “fight­ing season”.

“We also locat­ed six rock­et pro­pelled grenades, a mor­tar, rock­et pro­pelled grenade motors, det­o­na­tor cords and elec­tri­cal IED com­po­nents. All of these are com­po­nents for IEDs so we’ve hit them [the insur­gents] where it hurts.” Lieu­tenant David­son said.

The oper­a­tions were con­duct­ed in the vicin­i­ty of the new­ly estab­lished Patrol Base Samad in the Baluchi val­ley. This val­ley was his­tor­i­cal­ly an area of sig­nif­i­cant insur­gent activ­i­ty and the dis­cov­ery of the IED-mak­ing facil­i­ty was aid­ed by the great­ly increased local influ­ence pro­vid­ed by the new base

Anoth­er mis­sion con­duct­ed by the ANA and their Aus­tralian part­ners dur­ing the final week of Jan­u­ary, uncov­ered sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ties of alu­mini­um pow­der, a key com­po­nent used in the pro­duc­tion of explo­sives. Oth­er recent cache finds includ­ed sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ties of rock­ets, muni­tions and weapon systems.

Com­man­der of Joint Task Force 633 Major-Gen­er­al Angus Camp­bell said, “These lat­est finds not only dis­rupt the efforts of the insur­gents, but also help indi­cate the grow­ing capa­bil­i­ties of the ANSF”.

“The Afghan Nation­al Army and their Aus­tralian men­tors have been able to take the infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed to them by local sources and devel­op a tar­get­ed oper­a­tion that will cer­tain­ly affect future insur­gent activ­i­ties,” said Major-Gen­er­al Campbell. 

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

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