WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2011 — Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen surveyed coalition troops positioned along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan this week, as members of the International Security Assistance Force continued operations to seize illegal weapons and drugs in Afghanistan’s southern and eastern provinces, military officials reported.
Allen, ISAF’s commander, conducted an on-site survey of coalition outposts in Paktika province on Dec. 19 to observe firsthand how the soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment at Observation Post Twins and Combat Outpost Margah secure their positions near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.
British Royal Marine Col. Mark Gray, ISAF’S chief of operations, joined Allen.
“The guys at these outposts have a very important job monitoring what goes on and preventing the infiltration of insurgents into that area of Afghanistan,” Gray said. “Without going to see the environment they are in, you have no concept of the job they are doing and perhaps the risks they might face.”
The troops gave Allen an overview of the weapons they use to defend themselves.
“It’s important to understand what kinds of weapon systems are available to the soldiers at these outposts,” Gray added. “This helps General Allen know that the troops are adequately protected and to make strategic decisions that impact the tactical situation. Seeing the outposts firsthand helps him to think through the whole chain of consequences that his actions and decisions will have on these troops.”
In addition to receiving a tactical brief regarding the security situation that troops face on a daily basis, Allen also visited with soldiers individually and thanked them for their service.
In security operations today in Afghanistan:
— A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a weapons cache in Logar province’s Muhammad Aghah district consisting of three rocket-propelled grenades, two unknown artillery rounds and a rocket. The weapons were confiscated to be destroyed at a later date.
— A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a six improvised explosive devices in Uruzgan province’s Chorah district, which were confiscated to be destroyed at a later date. In Uruzgan’s Tarin Kot district, a combined force discovered a weapons cache consisting of an RPG, a 107 mm rocket and various small arms ammunition. Security forces confiscated all items to be destroyed at a later date.
— A combined force discovered a weapons cache in Wardak province’s Sayyidabad district. The cache consisted of RPGs, 10 cans of RPG propellant and two pressure plate detonation devices. The weapons were confiscated to be destroyed at a later date.
In Afghanistan operations yesterday:
— A combined force discovered a weapons cache in Ghazni province’s Ghazni district. The cache consisted of 156 mortars of varying sizes, 19 rockets, 120 artillery rounds, 535 rounds of small-arms ammunition, 50 grenade fuses, 22 anti-personnel mines and 11 anti-tank grenades. Most of the weapons were destroyed on site and a portion was confiscated to be destroyed at a later date.
— A combined force in Kandahar province’s Panjwa’i district discovered 441 pounds of hashish, which they confiscated to be destroyed at a later date.
— A combined force discovered eight IEDs in Zabul province’s Kahh Kalay district. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed all of the IEDs without incident.
— In the Nad Ali district of Helmand province, a combined force discovered a cache of IED-making materials including 64 pressure plate detonation devices, six bags of explosive materials, 14 remote detonators, five packs of electrical wire and a role of detonation cord. The security force confiscated all materials for destruction at a later date.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases