UK troops support Afghan led Operation WINTER SUCCESS

Near­ly 1,000 British and Afghan sol­diers and Afghan Police have tak­en part in a major oper­a­tion to clear insur­gents from a cru­cial area of Hel­mand province.

 Afghan National Army soldiers at the start of Operation ZAMESTANI PEEROZI, or 'WINTER SUCCESS' Picture: Sgt Wes Calder RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011
Afghan Nation­al Army sol­diers at the start of Oper­a­tion ZAMESTANI PEEROZI, or ‘WINTER SUCCESS’ [Pic­ture: Sgt Wes Calder RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Oper­a­tion ZAMESTANI PEEROZI, or ‘WINTER SUCCESS’, was planned by Afghan Nation­al Army staff and was led by Brigadier Gen­er­al Sheren Shah, com­man­der of the 3rd Brigade of 215 Corps.

It saw more than 280 British troops join forces with 550 war­riors from the Afghan Nation­al Army (ANA) and patrol­men from the Afghan Uni­formed Police in the area where the bound­aries of Nad ‘Ali, Nahr-e Saraj, and Lashkar Gah dis­tricts meet.

Troops from the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force (ISAF) men­tored and advised Afghan sol­diers and head­quar­ters staff through the oper­a­tion, which cleared insur­gents from between three major routes that run through the area before build­ing new check­points to increase secu­ri­ty.

Sol­diers from 2nd Bat­tal­ion the Rifles Reg­i­ment, 2nd Bat­tal­ion the Mer­cian Reg­i­ment, 5th Bat­tal­ion the Rifles Reg­i­ment, and 3rd Bat­tal­ion (the Black Watch) the Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land were among those who joined the oper­a­tion, along­side Eston­ian forces.

Afghan engi­neers were men­tored by sap­pers from 35 and 38 Engi­neer Reg­i­ments as they tack­led the com­plex work of build­ing new check­points.

The sol­diers on the ground were also boost­ed by the capa­bil­i­ties of spe­cial­ists such as Counter-Impro­vised Explo­sive Device (C-IED) teams and intel­li­gence and sur­veil­lance capa­bil­i­ties.

Afghan police report­ed find­ing one cache of 27 IEDs, while in a sep­a­rate find, Afghan war­riors dis­cov­ered a haul of 64 pres­sure plates, six bags of explosives,14 con­trollers to remote­ly det­o­nate explo­sives, and oth­er com­po­nents for mak­ing road­side bombs.

Lieu­tenant Colonel Bill Wright is the com­mand­ing offi­cer of 2nd Bat­tal­ion the Rifles. The Reg­i­ment forms the Brigade Advi­so­ry Group, which direct­ly men­tors Brigadier Gen­er­al Sheren Shah’s 3/215 Brigade. He said:

“The oper­a­tion went very well and the ANSF did exact­ly what they set out to do.

“While insur­gents do not live in these areas, they do use them to tran­sit through. The goal of this oper­a­tion is to dom­i­nate the routes that they use.

“The new check­points will mean the secu­ri­ty forces can dom­i­nate the area and stop insur­gents com­ing here to influ­ence the local com­mu­ni­ties.”

Cap­tain Richie Grif­fiths, who advis­es an Afghan engi­neer­ing ‘tolay’ or com­pa­ny of around 100 men, said:

“The ANA engi­neers are pro­fi­cient at most things, and they are very quick to learn even the more com­pli­cat­ed tasks, such as sit­ing and lev­el­ling san­gar sen­try tow­ers.

“They are pret­ty much self-suf­fi­cient. All the plant equip­ment and tools are their own — we are here with noth­ing but advice, where it is need­ed. We embed­ded real­ly well with the Afghan engi­neers — we ate with them, and worked with them through it all.”

Brigadier Gen­er­al Sheren Shah said:

“The ANSF is ready to pro­vide secu­ri­ty for the peo­ple of this area. My mes­sage to those who are fight­ing against our Gov­ern­ment is to come and join the peace process, as this can be the only solu­tion.”

Brigadier Patrick Sanders DSO OBE, the com­man­der of the British-led Task Force Hel­mand, said the oper­a­tion was a vital step in help­ing to secure the area of north­ern Nad ‘Ali dis­trict. He added:

“This was a major oper­a­tion planned and led by Afghan forces to take on the insur­gency, with Task Force Hel­mand very much in a sup­port­ing role to men­tor and advise our Afghan part­ners.

“Afghan secu­ri­ty forces are sig­nif­i­cant­ly increas­ing pres­sure on the insur­gents oper­at­ing through­out this area.

“This oper­a­tion will reduce the abil­i­ty of insur­gents to mount attacks on ISAF forces and Afghan forces, it will increase secu­ri­ty for the local pop­u­la­tion, and pave the way for the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces to take on respon­si­bil­i­ty in these areas.”

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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