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Department of Defence
Media Release


18/11/2010 MECC 542/10



First Afghan-led combined operation underway in Uruzgan


The Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) have successfully commenced their first combined Afghan-led operation in Uruzgan Province, clearing the insurgent stronghold of West Dorafshan and confiscating dangerous weapons and explosive components.


Operation Sur Gurabe is the Afghan name for the operation known to Coalition forces as Operation Boston.  It is the first combined operation between the ANA and the ANP in Uruzgan to be planned and led by the ANA.


The Commander of Combined Team - Uruzgan, US Army Colonel Jim Creighton, said the ANA and ANP have demonstrated they are on the way to becoming a capable and united security force.


“What you see is the Afghan police working hand-in-hand with the Army,” Colonel Creighton said.


“We saw the ANA 4th Brigade plan and control the operation.


“The engineer effort is Afghan-led; the artillery effort, with their D30 artillery guns, is Afghan-led; the initial clearance operation is led by the 3rd Kandak (battalion) of the 4th Brigade; and the supporting and blocking formations are led by 2nd Kandak.”


Colonel Creighton said the major success of this clearance operation was that the 4th Brigade was able to command and control all of its Kandaks throughout the operation.


Approximately 300 ANA soldiers, with support from their Australian mentors, have uncovered more than 70 weapons caches in the course of clearance operations. 


These caches ranged from ammunition, rifles, machine guns and rocket launchers, to a valuable 30mm automatic grenade launcher. 


The Operation also uncovered explosives and Improvised Explosive Device components with the potential to kill hundreds of local civilians.  These have now been safely removed from the area. 


Commanding Officer of Mentoring Task Force – Two, Lieutenant Colonel Darren Huxley, said the discovery of the caches would have a positive impact on the security of the region.


“Every bit of these caches could make a bomb and each bomb could kill or injure a local civilian,” Lieutenant Colonel Huxley said.


“Locating these caches makes a big difference to security in Uruzgan.”


The success of the initial phase of Operation Sur Gurabe has enabled the security situation in West Dorafshan to stabilise.  A permanent ANA presence will remain in the area to maintain security.


Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664


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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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