1 May 2007

PR# 2007-347

Operation Achilles Update - ISAF forces in Sangin Valley

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Following the successful insertion of International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Forces into the lower Sangin Valley yesterday, ISAF forces airlifted approximately 300 troops into the area to maintain pressure on Taliban extremists.

“This latest move reinforces the successes achieved yesterday by Task Force Helmand, who secured their tactical objectives ahead of schedule,” said Lt. Col. Mike Smith, Regional Command-South spokesman.

“Afghan National Army and ISAF troops have engaged Taliban extremists at several locations, and seized an ammunition cache and other equipment.

The latest maneuver is part of the ongoing Operation Achilles, which was launched in early March to prevent extremists from disrupting reconstruction and development, officials said.  There are about 5,000 troops overall involved in Operation Achilles.

 “This phase of Operation Achilles is a significant step towards establishing the security conditions necessary to enable key reconstruction and development projects in the area,” Colonel Smith said. “These projects include work on the Kajaki Dam, which will be a major benefit to the people of the area.”

The operation, launched from Kandahar Airfield late last night, was a coordinated multi-national effort including Chinook, Blackhawk and Apache helicopters.  The ISAF troops conducted a night advance and secured predetermined objectives.

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/