Monday, February 22, 2010

Major Richard Gregory - Fire Support Company 1 Royal Welsh

Op Moshtarak Day 5 - Taliban Flag hauled Down

The Company and our Afghan Army partners have now firmly established a Patrol Base, east of Garbay Noray in Nadi Ali, Helmand Province.

The Patrol Base cooking area

For the first couple of days we focused on base security and defensive positions. This involved clearing all the compound areas and surrounding routes for IEDs, filling and placing sandbags for firing points and setting up a home from home in the base. A cooking area, washing area, toilet and even an improvised gym where all quickly created to make life bearable.

Toilet in Use!

By the second day we had started to build positive relationships with the elders and families in the area, holding local shuras to discuss their needs and concerns. Meanwhile our Afghan partners proudly raised the Afghanistan flag to fly above the Camp.

However out on the ground the Front Line was still clearly marked. For four days a plain white Taliban flag has flown just 300 metres away from the Patrol Base, an area where only a few of the locals are willing to go. In much of the area the threat of IEDs remained high.

As the Counter IED Team came in and cleared a route through the area the next phase of Operation Moshtarak, the ‘hold’, is beginning to take effect. The daily Shurahs held by myself are bringing the locals on side. And the regular joint patrols, led by the Afghan Army are showing that security is being brought back to the area.

Today, the fifth day of Op Moshtarak, Afghan soldiers moved in unopposed and took down the Taliban flag, removing the remaining symbol of insurgent control in the area. Another symbol of success on this operation and out on the Front Line another small victory for ISAF and the Afghan National Army.

1 comment:

  1. The "White Battle Flag of the Taliban"... could prove inconvenient if they ever try to surrender... I hope someone has pointed this out to the Taliban ?