New Afghan National Army unit conducts successful security operation in Uruzgan

The first oper­a­tion between the Afghan Nation­al Army’s (ANA) 6th infantry Kan­dak and the Aus­tralian Men­tor­ing Task Force – Three (MTF‑3) has uncov­ered sev­er­al muni­tions caches and suc­cess­ful­ly dis­rupt­ed insur­gent oper­a­tions in the Deh Raf­shan area near Tarin Kot.

Oper­a­tion OMEED ATIL was led by the ANA, with sup­port from their Aus­tralian men­tors. The oper­a­tion was aimed at degrad­ing insur­gent influ­ence in Uruz­gan Province and build­ing local con­fi­dence in the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces’ ability. 

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of Men­tor­ing Task Force — Three (MTF‑3), Lieu­tenant Colonel Chris Smith, said the oper­a­tion demon­strat­ed that the ANA was becom­ing increas­ing­ly capa­ble of plan­ning and con­duct­ing com­plex operations. 

“This oper­a­tion shows that the ANA has achieved real progress towards their goal of tak­ing charge of their own secu­ri­ty,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Smith said. 

“Thanks to the ded­i­cat­ed and pro­fes­sion­al efforts of many Aus­tralian Defence Force sol­diers, I have seen the ANA 4th Brigade’s abil­i­ty and con­fi­dence grow considerably.” 

Accord­ing to the Offi­cer Com­mand­ing the 6th Kandak’s men­tor­ing com­pa­ny, Major Nick Hod­da, one of the main pur­pos­es of the oper­a­tion was to test ANA’s abil­i­ty to con­duct secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions with­out direct con­trol by Aus­tralian forces. 

“The oper­a­tion exceed­ed expec­ta­tions,” Major Hod­da said. 

“With­in a few days, the 6th Kan­dak was able to inde­pen­dent­ly cor­don and search com­pounds for impro­vised explo­sive devices (IEDs), ille­gal drugs and weapons. Towards the end of the oper­a­tion we were able to stand back with increas­ing con­fi­dence and watch them take charge.” 

The week-long oper­a­tion was also designed to build con­fi­dence between the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces and local com­mu­ni­ties, demon­strat­ing that Afghan forces are able to pro­tect civilians. 

“On a num­ber of occa­sions, the ANA locat­ed IEDs, ille­gal weapons and drugs, inde­pen­dent of men­tor­ing sup­port,” Major Hod­da said. 

A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of IED com­po­nents, ille­gal weapons, rock­et pro­pelled grenade launch­ers and ammu­ni­tion were dis­cov­ered dur­ing the oper­a­tion. Remov­ing this cache will reduce the insur­gents’ abil­i­ty to attack civil­ians and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force (ISAF) and Afghan forces in the area. 

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

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