Home' Army News : May 26th 2011 Contents 12 WORLD NEWS
Army May 26, 2011
Success is near for MTF 2
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
MTF 2 has achieved much during its
deployment to Uruzgan province but
still has tasks to complete before hand-
ing over to MTF 3 in a month's time.
CO Lt-Col Darren Huxley said the
major remaining task was to consoli-
date the Afghan National Army (ANA) in
its fighting positions before the summer
"We also need to continue to support
and maintain a link with the local peo-
ple," Lt-Col Huxley said.
"Our particular focus will be in the
Mirabad Valley region, where we've had
great success over the past months.
"As a result of this, the local peo-
ple are beginning to see the benefits of
joining and working with the Afghan
Continuing to enhance the ANA 4th
Bde's capabilities was another priority
for MTF 2.
courses for the ANA, including mortars
and heavy weapons training.
"Since we arrived in late September
last year, our mission hasn't changed.
We are mentoring the 4th Bde in order
to help build its capabilities, with a view
to helping support the broader objective
of improving governance, security and
development in Uruzgan," Lt-Col Huxley
"Our most significant achievement so
far has been progressing 4th Bde towards
"In particular, we've commenced
focusing on their ability to provide com-
bat support to their own organisations.
"The 2nd Kandak also built and
established their first patrol base -- PB
Sarab -- where we gave them the materi-
als and they built the base by themselves
without our security."
As a result of the construction and the
ANA operating independently from PB
Sarab, the 2nd Kandak has now under-
gone International Security Assistance
Force assessment and validation and is
close to being certified to conduct inde-
"With this validation MTF 2 has, in
many ways, concluded the successful
mentoring and development of the 2nd
Kandak, which began with Mentoring
Reconstruction Task Force 1 three years
"We are lucky to be the ones who
concluded this process, but all credit real-
ly goes to previous battle group efforts."
Lt-Col Huxley said he assessed
MTF 2's efforts as highly successful.
"When we arrived here some areas
like the Tangi Valley and Baluchi were
highly contested by the insurgents.
"We still get shot at in both parts of
the province and there are still IEDs but
we have certainly helped enhance the
security in those areas."
The major challenge MTF 2 has had
to face has been the security threat to its
"The loss of our two engineer mates
and soldiers who were wounded was
emotionally challenging," Lt-Col Huxley
"We also reviewed our tactics, tech-
niques and procedures and force protec-
tion measures as a result, and I am com-
fortable we are doing our best to keep
our soldiers safe."
He said the local people and ANA
troops based in Uruzgan now had a bet-
ter outlook due in part to the efforts of
Combined Team -- Uruzgan (CTU) and
MTF 2, but also due to the valuable
efforts of the ANA, and former Dutch
"It's not only MTF 2's efforts,
but also the valuable work the CTU's
Provincial Reconstruction Team has been
doing to help the people in the areas of
health, employment, development, and
the economy " he said.
"Among other priorities, the Governor
of Uruzgan is focusing on employment,
construction of roads and access to health
for the local people. These will increase
the prosperity, lives and life-span of the
"The fact that MTF 2 has been part of
improving and keeping Uruzgan on the
road to development and prosperity is an
The battle group comprising more
than 840 soldiers is due to return to
Australia in late June.
Handing over the reins: An ANA soldier and Lt Christian Johnston, MTF 2 Combat Team B, discuss
movement plans in the Mirabad Valley, Afghanistan. MTF 2 has been gradually handing over more
responsibility to soldiers of the ANA's 4th Bde.
Photo by US Army Specialist Edward Garibay
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