Home' Army News : April 26th 2012 Contents Army April 26, 2012
4Afghans lead large-scale
Langhar district cleared with little resistance in Afghan conceived, planned and led operation
US Army SSgt Nazly Confesor
and Maj Al Green
AFGHAN soldiers have been improv-
ing in skill and confidence under the
mentoring of MTF 4, with the Afghan
National Army's (ANA) Uruzgan-
based 4th Brigade conducting an inde-
pendent brigade-level operation to
clear the Langhar district.
The 4th Brigade soldiers swept
through the district south east of Tarin
Kot and cleared it of insurgent activity,
weapons caches and IEDs in an ANA-
conceived, planned and led operation.
Insurgents fled the area or laid low dur-
ing the operation, with the Afghan sol-
diers presenting no vulnerability for the
enemy to exploit.
When it does come to a fight, the
ANA soldiers are proving to be fero-
cious and skilled combatants who are
willing and ready to take the fight to the
enemy, according to MTF 4 CO Lt-Col
Describing a recent contact dur-
ing another operation, a clearance of
the Tangi Valley, Lt-Col Fegan said the
ANA maintained control of the situation,
used sound judgment and aggressively
During the contact, ANA forward
sections had become pinned down under
heavy fire. An MTF 4 overwatch posi-
tion was able to bring fire onto enemy
positions, providing an opportunity for
the Afghan and Australian soldiers to
manoeuvre. The lead Australian mentor
discussed options with the ANA com-
mander throughout the contact, but was
also careful not to take over.
"The contact in the Tangi Valley
was an excellent example of how well
the ANA are developing," Lt-Col Fegan
"The enemy tried to draw the ANA
into an engagement area in which they
could be targeted. Poor soldiers would
have taken the bait. Instead the ANA
assessed the situation then careful-
ly exploited forward, trying to pin the
enemy in position."
Under pressure, the insurgents were
forced to withdraw with casualties.
"While they were reinforced and sup-
ported, the ANA always had the lead
throughout and that's the exact approach
that I want MTF 4 to continue to take,"
Lt-Col Fegan said.
ANA-led missions have doubled
since last July, with a most of them
independently executed by the Afghan
troops. Since the summer of 2011, there
has been a steady decline in insurgent
activity, culminating in a three-year low
The move from partnered to men-
tored operations has been seamless,
according to Capt Ben Johanson of
Mentoring Team One, who has been
operating from Forward Operating Base
as well as
Teamwork: Pte Rob Druery and an Afghan soldier work together on a partnered patrol through a village
in Uruzgan province.
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