11 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-171

Operation Achilles focuses on reconstruction

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – ISAF forces are continuing with Operation Achilles in Ghorak, in the northwestern part of Kandahar province.  The U.S. 1st-508th Airborne Infantry, under the ISAF banner, are part of the effort.

Although the battalion began to conduct operations against Taliban extremists, they are interacting with local village elders.  Since the main goal of the operation is to increase security to enable reconstruction and development, the battalion engaged with the local population in informal discussion and more official meetings such as shuras. The goal of these shuras is to inform villagers about ISAF’s presence, provide an appreciation of ISAF’s intentions and to establish any humanitarian needs that ISAF may be able to fulfill.

“When we first moved into this area, it was apparent that villagers had not seen military activity since the Soviet occupation days.  They were a little standoffish at first, but they are starting to open a dialogue with us more and more,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Brian Mennes, Commanding Officer of the 1st-508th. “Yesterday we held a basic medical clinic and dozens of children came out and we were able to treat minor medical needs.  It is our hope to conduct this type of operation soon and help more local villagers in the area who are cut off from major centers,” he added.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/