Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases
WASHINGTON : Afghan and international forces killed or captured numerous enemy fighters and seized illegal stockpiles of drugs and weapons in recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.
-- An Afghan-international security force detained two suspected militants in Kandahar province last night at a compound that reportedly belongs to a man believed to be responsible for facilitating suicide-bomb attacks in Kandahar City.
-- In Helmand province's Nad-e Ali district yesterday, a combined security patrol found a shotgun, two rifles, a pistol, small-arms ammunition and a bag of bomb-making materials, and another combined patrol found a 300 pounds of marijuana seed, 15 pounds of poppy seed, 10 pounds of hashish, 100 pounds of ammonium nitrate and a small container of an unknown white substance. Ammonium nitrate is a banned fertilizer that can be used to make explosives.
-- A local civilian informed a combined patrol of insurgent fighters' whereabouts in Helmand's Musa Qalah district yesterday. International forces cordoned off the area while Afghan soldiers went inside the compound to investigate. The soldiers found 264 pounds of opium, two assault rifles and 500 rounds of ammunition. Five people were detained.
-- An Afghan-international security force detained several suspected insurgents during the night of May 15 in Zabul province's Qalat district.
-- In Helmand's Now Zad district May 15, an Afghan-international patrol found five 155mm artillery rounds and 70 pounds of opium.
-- A combined patrol in Helmand's Nad-e Ali district found four 82 mm rounds and three rocket-propelled grenades, May 15.
-- Also on May 15, a combined Afghan-international patrol found three mines and three rocket-propelled grenades in Uruzgan province's Tarin Kot district.
-- In the Baghlan-e Jedid district of Baghlan province the night of May 14, an Afghan-international force killed several militants and captured several others as they searched for a Taliban leader. The security force went to a compound in a rural area after intelligence information indicated insurgent activity. At the compound, the Afghan members of the assault force called for the insurgents to surrender, but they refused and engaged the security force. After the combined force returned fire and killed several militants, other insurgents surrendered and were detained. Two of the militants, including a woman who tried to engage the assault force with an automatic rifle, were wounded and were taken to a nearby hospital. The search team found automatic rifles, grenades and tactical communications equipment at the compound.
-- In Kandahar province on the night of May 14, a combined force operating in the Kandahar district detained several suspected insurgents for questioning.
-- In Logar province's Baraki Barak district the same night, a combined force searching for a Taliban bombing-cell commander detained a few suspected insurgents for questioning. (Issued on:
May 17, 2010)
|Related Sites: NATO International Security Assistance Force|
Compiled from U.S. Forces Iraq News Releases
WASHINGTON : A team of Iraqi police and U.S. forces secured and recovered a disabled U.S. helicopter today after it was forced to make a precautionary landing May 15.
The team secured the landing site and repaired the aircraft before U.S. pilots flew it back to Tallil Air Base.
"We would like to thank our Iraqi partners for their outstanding assistance," said Army Col. James Rainey, commander of the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade at Contingency Operating Base Adder. "The quick response from the 6th Emergency Response Unit was instrumental in the success of the recovery operation."
The aircraft was conducting its daily mission when it made a precautionary landing because of a mechanical problem, officials said. No one was injured during the landing. The incident was not combat-related and is under investigation, officials added.
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi forces killed a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member during a combined operation northeast of Tikrit yesterday.
Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors stopped the man's vehicle to arrest him for his alleged facilitation role in vehicle-bomb attacks on civilians in Kirkuk. He was shot and killed when he drew a pistol as the security team approached.
In Mosul yesterday, Iraqi forces arrested two suspected associates of an al-Qaida in Iraq operative linked to terrorist attacks against Iraqi civilians, security forces and coalition forces during a combined operation with U.S. advisors. (Issued on : May 17, 2010)
|Related Sites: U.S. Forces Iraq|
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON : The NATO allies are in Afghanistan for the long haul and have made both significant progress and significant commitments to the effort there, the alliance's supreme allied commander for Europe said here today.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force will have roughly 98,000 U.S. troops and about 43,000 allied troops by fall, Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis told the Defense Writers Group. NATO's troop contribution in Afghanistan is "significant," he said.
Casualty figures, the admiral said, show that NATO has stepped up. About 1,100 U.S. servicemembers have been killed in Afghanistan, and the other coalition members have lost 650.
"Per capita, Estonia has suffered the most," Stavridis said, "followed by Denmark, Great Britain, Canada and the United States."
With Mongolia, Montenegro and South Korea joining the coalition, 47 nations are now working together in Afghanistan, Stavridis noted. "The allies are in this in a substantial way," he said. "Could they do more? Yes."
Though the allied contribution is substantial, he said, the coalition needs more people to train the Afghan security forces.
Success in Afghanistan will come, Stavridis said, when the Afghan army and police can take over the security mission. About 5,200 more trainers are needed in Afghanistan. Roughly 3,600 are on the ground now. NATO's share of the overall training mission is 1,600.
"Right now, I've got on the ground or committed 1,150" trainers, the admiral said. "So, I need 450 [more]."
The training mission in Afghanistan, Stavridis said, is his highest priority. As he works with NATO nations' defense chiefs to fill the shortfall, he added, U.S. soldiers will step in to bridge the training gap. The admiral thanked those soldiers for serving a 90-day tour, saying there is no more important job in Afghanistan today.
The Afghan security forces are making progress, and their contributions must be factored into any plan moving forward in the country, Stavridis said. Afghanistan has about 200,000 soldiers and police today, and that number will grow to around 250,000 in the fall, he said. The forces are growing in size and capabilities, he added, while the desertion rate has gone down. And improvements in pay both the amount and how it makes it to the soldiers and police have been a factor in recruiting and retention.
Stavridis said four factors will be essential to coalition success in Afghanistan. First among these, he said, is strategic communication.
"It's effectively explaining what we're doing and why we're doing it in the capitals of the alliance and in Afghanistan," he explained.
The second is the civil-military balance. Civilian aid is just as important as military force in this new world, he said. Mark Sedwill, the senior NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, is getting the civilian effort working in tandem with the military effort, the admiral said.
Third is protecting the people of Afghanistan. Stavridis echoed the sentiment expressed by ISAF Commander Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who has said, "We will not kill our way out of this."
"We have got to make protecting the Afghan people the center of gravity," Stavridis said. "We've made some progress in that, but every incident [of civilian casualties] hurts us."
Finally, the admiral said, training the Afghan security forces is crucial to success.
Stavridis said that while much remains to be done, Afghanistan has seen overall progress, and the alliance has made a difference.
"Afghanistan is often called the graveyard of empires," he said. "But we're not an empire, and the coalition has no desire to stay in the country any longer than necessary." (Issued on :May 17, 2010)
|Biographies: Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis Related Sites: NATO NATO International Security Assistance Force|