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14 WORLD NEWS
Army April 28, 2011
By Capt Margaret Nichols
AFGHAN National Army (ANA) sol-
diers and Australian mentors continue
to secure former Taliban ground with
new patrol bases springing up through-
out Uruzgan province.
The latest has been built in the village
of Sorkh Lez, where a combined ANA
and coalition force operation conducted a
clearance operation in January.
ANA platoon commander 1st Lt
Abdul Khaliq said his soldiers and their
Australian mentors operated from a tem-
porary platoon house in the village while
the permanent patrol base was built.
"I am very happy for the new camp,"
he said. "It has many advantages, like
better facilities, and has room for more
"It also provides overwatch and we
will stop the insurgents from here."
For the small team of Australians led
by Capt Matt Whitwell, the move from
the patrol house to the new patrol base
brought mixed emotions.
"We are excited about moving into
the new patrol base," he said.
"It will provide better living condi-
tions, but over the past three months we
made this [temporary patrol house] home
and there are quite a few memories here."
Once the Afghan and Australian sol-
diers relocated, the security infrastructure
of the old platoon house was dismantled.
"We worked hard to ensure the old
platoon house offered adequate securi-
ty during the construction of the patrol
base," Capt Whitwell said.
"Now, with the new patrol base open,
we had to ensure the platoon house could
not be used by insurgents."
The new patrol base also accommo-
dates more soldiers and will bolster the
ANA presence in the area.
"With more Afghan soldiers, there
can be more community engagement,
more shuras to communicate with the
locals and more patrols, which will pro-
vide a greater security presence for Sorkh
Lez," Capt Whitwell said.
Crowd pleasers answer call
That's entertainment: Australian entertainers once again took to the stage to show support for troops
during the MEAO forces entertainment tour from March 24-29. Included in the tour were comedian Mikey
Robbins and Aussie bands Radio Ink and Holland. Pictured are members of Holland stopping for a photo
with soldiers in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. Inset, Radio Ink's Miss S performs during the concert.
Many hands: Australian and Afghan soldiers work together building defences
at the new patrol base in Sorkh Lez.
Photo by Cpl Christopher Dickson
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