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Image Gallery: August 2009

11 August 2009
Building relations with the locals

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Battle Group continue to head into the green zone to help secure Oruzgan Province in the lead up to the election.

On the 16th and 17th of July, 1 Platoon from Combat Team Alpha, conducted vehicle check points and dismounted patrols in the vicinity of Sarab in Oruzgan.

In an area where there was little International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) presence, the purpose of these patrols was to reinforce the confidence of the local populace in Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and gain an appreciation of the people who live in the area.

Through a number of impromptu “Shuras’ or meetings facilitated by the use of interpreters and personnel especially trained in Pashtu, the main language spoken in southern Afghanistan, the patrol was able to begin to understand the tribal dynamics of the region, the various grievances of the populace and the problems the insurgency causes in the area.

In conjunction with joint patrols by the Afghan National Security Forces and their mentors early in the day, the patrol successfully extended the reach of ISAF in Oruzgan and added to the security of the people of Sarab.

There are around 600 soldiers currently serving in the 1 RAR Battle Group which forms the second rotation of the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF-2).

A key component of MRTF-2 is the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT), whose mission is to assist in the development and training of the 4th Brigade of the Afghan National Army. MRTF-2 and ANSF conduct regular joint operations against the Taliban in the Province.

Apart from security operations and training the ANSF, MRTF-2 also manages construction works in Oruzgan Province.