Australia — Security strengthened in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan

Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces and their Aus­tralian Defence Force men­tors have suc­cess­ful­ly con­duct­ed a series of coor­di­nat­ed oper­a­tions, in west­ern and north­ern Uruz­gan, aimed at improv­ing the secu­ri­ty sit­u­a­tion for the local Afghan pop­u­la­tion.

In recent weeks, Oper­a­tion Pisho, also known as Oper­a­tion Syd­ney, was con­duct­ed by the Afghan Nation­al Army (ANA) and Men­tor­ing Task Force – Two in the Mirabad Val­ley. At the same time, Oper­a­tion Tevara Sin was ini­ti­at­ed by the Afghan Nation­al Police’s Provin­cial Response Com­pa­ny – Uruz­gan (PRC‑U) and mem­bers of the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group. The oper­a­tions were designed to build on the gains that Afghan and Coali­tion forces have made in the past year.

In response to local Afghan requests for the estab­lish­ment of a secu­ri­ty pres­ence in Sorkh Lez in the Mirabad Val­ley, a com­bined force of 200 sol­diers swept through the area using the Afghan Nation­al Army’s 3rd Kan­dak of the 4th Brigade and ele­ments of the 2nd Men­tor­ing Task Force, as part of Oper­a­tion Pisho (OP Sydney).

The 3rd Kan­dak Com­mand­ing Offi­cer Lieu­tenant Colonel Sayed Sera Judin and his oper­a­tions team planned the clear­ance oper­a­tion with sup­port from their Aus­tralian men­tors. Offi­cer Com­mand­ing the Aus­tralian Men­tor­ing Team Major Bren­ton Pearce said that while Sorkh Lez was a known insur­gent strong­hold no resis­tance was encoun­tered dur­ing the oper­a­tion. “What we need to do now is fol­low on with devel­op­ment through local and key leader engage­ment,” Major Pearce said. 

A sig­nif­i­cant ele­ment of the local engage­ment has been the estab­lish­ment of a Pla­toon House in Sorkh Lez in the Mirabad Val­ley. The Pla­toon House is a for­ti­fied local com­pound, allow­ing the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces and their men­tors to have a firm base from which to oper­ate in the local area.

The Offi­cer Com­mand­ing the Sorkh Lez Pla­toon House Cap­tain Matt Whitwell said the per­ma­nent pres­ence now there was a key ele­ment in achiev­ing the longer term mis­sion. “If we can bring secu­ri­ty and devel­op­ment to Sorkh Lez, the peo­ple will now have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pros­per through legit­i­mate income,” Cap­tain Whitwell said.

“Good gov­er­nance will be able to fol­low and Sorkh Lez will benefit.”

In Oper­a­tion Tevara Sin, in north­ern Uruz­gan, Afghan Nation­al Police offi­cers from the Uruz­gan-based Provin­cial Response Com­pa­ny (PRC‑U), sup­port­ed by Aus­tralian Spe­cial Forces, detained an indi­vid­ual believed to be a lead­ing bomb-mak­er and a close asso­ciate of the top insur­gent com­man­der in cen­tral Uruz­gan. This indi­vid­ual was report­ed to have reg­u­lar­ly trans­port­ed Impro­vised Explo­sive Device (IED) com­po­nents to insur­gent groups and facil­i­tat­ed attacks on Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces (ANSF) and ISAF troops.

Dur­ing this Oper­a­tion more than 150 com­pounds were searched by the Afghan Nation­al Police in a sin­gle day. As a result of these and sub­se­quent search­es, a large num­ber of weapons, muni­tions and IED caches were discovered. 

The removal of these caches through the part­nered oper­a­tions between PRC‑U and SOTG served to fur­ther enhance the suc­cess of the Afghan Nation­al Army 4th Brigade and Men­tor­ing Task Force – Two in the Sorkh Lez region.

The Com­man­der of Aus­tralian forces in the Mid­dle East, Major Gen­er­al Angus Camp­bell, said the recent suc­cess­ful oper­a­tions by the ANSF and Aus­tralian troops had dis­rupt­ed insur­gent activ­i­ty and would improve secu­ri­ty for the local population. 

“The oper­a­tions would also reduce the abil­i­ty of insur­gents to con­duct attacks against sol­diers from the ANSF and Com­bined Team – Uruz­gan,” Major Gen­er­al Camp­bell said. 

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

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