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    Posted June 18, 2012 by
    naweedyousuf
    Location
    Boldak
    Assignment
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    ABP lead successful operation in southern Afghanistan Story and photos by Sgt. Brendan Mackie Combined Taskforce Viper PAO

     
    COMBAT OUTPOST LAKARAY, Afghanistan - Afghan Border Police and
    International Security Assistance Force members participated in
    Operation Southern Strike II in the Spin Boldak district, June 2 to June
    16.
    The operation, led by the 3rd Kandak of the ABP, focused on
    interacting with the local populous as well as disrupting enemy
    formations in the vicinity of major passes in the area.
    "The major areas of focus were the Ganjitsu Pass, then the P'sha
    Pass and obviously the Wonake or Enjergay Pass," said Capt. Sean Nolan,
    commander of Company C, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 2nd
    Infantry Division. "These are the major passes in our area that the
    enemy uses to push supplies and equipment and men through to support
    their fight both in the Spin Boldak area and in Afghanistan proper."
    During the operation, 17 insurgents were killed, four suspects were
    detained and numerous caches of explosives and weapons were discovered.
    Among the recovered contraband includes more than 1,400 lbs of
    explosives, 19 personnel mines, 12 pressure plates, four rifles, two
    rocket launchers, two directional fragmentation charges, one pistol and
    numerous rounds of ammunition.
    Miscellaneous components of improvised explosive devices also recovered
    include 12 cell phones, 13 power sources, eight blasting caps, eight
    motorcycles, 18 feet of detonation cord and 50 feet of lamp cord.
    Although these statistics are important, the biggest accomplishment
    resides in the performance by the ABP, said Nolan.
    "This was our first major operation with them and we were unsure how
    things would go at a larger level," he continued. "It was just
    impressive on all ends."
    During the operation the ABP was able to provide a continuous level of
    support to include providing themselves with water, food, fuel as well
    as the ability to perform at a tactical and strategic level not seen
    before in this district.
    "I was very impressed by them," he continued. "What was really exciting
    to see, as the operation commenced, [was when] they took more and more
    of a lead role."
    Early in the operation, the ABP and ISAF forces exploited areas that
    were identified through intelligence sources. In those villages, locals
    were able to provide the ABP with valuable information about the enemy
    and their movements.
    "By midway to the end they [ABP] were pointing out objectives," Nolan
    added. "They were taking the lead and telling us, 'we need to go here
    and do this and that,' to the point where we were actually having to
    hold them back to coordinate assets. It was very impressive to see them
    really take leadership and ownership within their own area."
    Looking forward, the biggest thing to understand is how ready the
    Afghans are in taking over the mission, said Nolan.
    "They're just looking for us to enable them to win," he said.
    "It's no longer the old days of us having to drag them to the objective
    and show them what right looks like. They want to go. They know where to
    go. They know what to do when they get there."
    Although this was the first operation between Nolan's company and the
    local ABP, he looks forward to the next installment.
    "It excites me for the remainder of my tenure here, and our tenure here
    as a company, knowing that we have partners who are just chomping at the
    bit, and all we've got to do is enable their success, and that's really
    where we want to be."

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