News from B Company
23rd February 2012
Another couple of weeks have passed and we are yet another step closer to coming home.
Since the last instalment elements of B Coy worked alongside our ANA from the 2nd Kandak to take part in an Operation that was widely reported in the British media. This saw a clearance of a very busy area, as with the other Operations we have carried out, the ANA were in their element. The ‘Op’ was a great success with very little insurgent activity and a few significant weapon finds.
This was the best possible way to consolidate the transition to the new Kandak of ANA we are working with. Since the Op we have spent some time building on the early progress we made, below is a snapshot from a few of the advisors from across our Area of Operations:
Capt Mark Shawyer in PB Wahid - The only thing that hasn’t changed is that everything has changed! We are kept on our toes by the fresh ANA and the various daily challenges here. Between it all Sjt Cusick is ‘beasting’ the whole callsign running up down and around the gravel tracks round camp. Now that everyone has done R&R we will concentrate on finishing well and getting the ANA ready for the spring.
Capt Terry Williams in PB 2 – The Heavy Weapons Tolay along with Adv25A and the 2 Rifles force protection section headed by Cpl 'MOFO' Alin this week led the clearance of the villages of Akhonzada and Dactran. These villages which straddle the boundaries of A Coy 2 RIFLES (A2R) and A Coy 5 Rifles (A5R) have been a nest of insurgent activity in the recent past with IED, shooting and grenade attacks against both companies. A5R marked and secured the line of departure and A2R pushed out flank protection to allow the ANA to clear the villages with 3 multiples.
Even before getting to the line of departure one of the ANA multiples, under acting Tolay Sergeant Major La Mohammed, uncovered a 20kg pressure plate IED which they very professionally confirmed and marked, to allow the Counter IED teams to destroy it later. The ANA pushed through the two villages under the excellent control of Lt Aref, they spoke to the locals and marked the safe lanes cleared of IEDs to allow the police to search compounds. As we about to collapse back into Check Point Shaparak the ANA uncovered another 20Kg device, again this was professionally confirmed and marked. This OP was good demonstration of the ANA capability and cooperation, which is down to the hard work of the A2R partners and B Coy section.
And finally a view from Capt Tim Brown in PB 1 - The ANA continue to give us the run-around. This week they comprehensively beat ISAF 3 days running at the afternoon football match. This was less down to skill and strategy and more down to the classic ANA 'swarm' tactics. Outnumbered 4 to 1, five brave Riflemen darted and dodged between gravel-sized shrapnel, stray Afghan boots and then the odd legitimate tackle. Much like an innocent antelope in a stampede of small, brown wildebeest, they were crushed physically, psychologically and statistically. Style over substance? Not a chance!
As you can probably see we remain busy, this is no bad thing though as it means the countdown continues at a very agreeable speed!
Keep checking back for more 2 Rifles updates.