WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2011 — Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, yesterday visited with U.S. troops posted in the eastern part of the country, military officials reported.
Allen also attended information briefings and checked on the readiness of weapons systems.
“I am continually reminded as to the superior quality of our ISAF personnel assigned throughout Afghanistan,” Allen said. “And the men and women of ISAF are capable of taking on any task assigned to protect the peace-loving citizens of this country from insurgent threats.”
Allen’s visit included a capabilities brief and readiness inspection of the emplaced High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS. The HIMARS is a light multiple-rocket launcher capable of long-range precision fire, which results in a low chance of injuring innocents who are endangered by terrorists operating or living close by. HIMARS has been used to great effect in Afghanistan, he said.
“The HIMARS is a very discriminating and impressive weapon,” Allen said. “Being an all-weather, day or night capability allows our forces to strike at targets very precisely and without warning, as necessary.”
Allen conducts battlefield circulations throughout Afghanistan, visiting ISAF and Afghan forces, provincial government leaders and village elders, providing on-the-ground awareness for the coalition commander.
ISAF is comprised of 49 allied and other contributing nations, with about 130,000 personnel, conducting population-centric counterinsurgency operations in partnership with Afghan National Security Forces and providing support to the government and international community in security sector reform, including mentoring, training and operational support to Afghan army and police.
In other Afghanistan operations yesterday:
— In the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple insurgents during a search for a Taliban leader responsible for planning attacks against Afghan forces in the Shah Wali Kot district. Some black tar heroin was confiscated during the operation.
— A combined force detained two suspects during a search for a Taliban leader, also in Shah Wali Kot, who coordinates roadside-bomb attacks and provides guidance to insurgent fighters.
— A combined force detained two suspects while it searched for a Haqqani network leader in the Sabari district of Khost province. The leader directs attacks against coalition forces, and supplies weapons and equipment to insurgents.
— Combined forces killed more than 20 insurgents and detained three suspects during several operations in Regional Command East.
— In the Doshi district of Baghlan province, a coalition force discovered a weapons cache containing three 120mm mortars, two 155mm artillery shells, and eight hand grenades.
— In the Musa Qalah district of Helmand province, a coalition force confiscated a weapons cache containing three rocket-propelled grenades, 10 anti-personnel mines, three sticks of dynamite, four bags of aluminium powder, multiple blasting caps, five improvised explosive devices, three pounds of homemade explosives, two pen flares and five shotgun shells.
In Sept. 21 operations:
— A combined force detained one suspect and seized a cache containing 1,212 pounds of wet opium, 22 pounds of dry opium, some drug processing equipment, and a motorcycle in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province. A child sustained leg injuries during the operation and was transported to a medical facility for care.
— A combined force detained a suspected insurgent leader during an operation in the Sangin district of Helmand province. The leader is an IED expert responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases