Commander Visits Troops in East Afghanistan

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