15 Aug 2007

PR# 2007-596

ISAF constructs police check-point in Uruzgan

TARIN KOWT, Afghanistan - ISAF this week completed the construction of a police check-point in the southern Uruzgan province. The task was undertaken by troops from the Australian Reconstruction Task Force, part of the Dutch-led Provincial Reconstruction Team.

The check-point was completed in six days under trying circumstances, including two serious clashes with Taliban extremists and an encounter with an improvised explosive device (IED) which was found and removed before it could harm anyone.

Australian engineer commander from Task Force Uruzgan, Lieutenant John Pring said the police check-point was strategically sited, in consultation with Afghan National Security Forces, to ensure it had a commanding presence over the local area.

“There is significant blast protection built into the position. We have also installed new services as well as sleeping and living quarters, which is a great improvement on what they are used to” said Lieutenant Pring

To conduct the task, Lieutenant Pring called on his tradesmen and earthmovers.

“We had two bulldozers, an excavator and two bobcats operating on the job” he said.  There was also a potent security force providing protection to the worksite.

The Afghan National Police, who have now moved into this new check-point, were grateful for their new facility.  They will now be able to exert more control over the area, which is around 10km east of the provincial capital, Tarin Kowt.

The Australian Commander of the Reconstruction Task Force in Uruzgan, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Jarvie, said Taliban extremists continue to resort to intimidation and terror tactics. He said that projects which strengthen security infrastructure and add to the capability of the local police will help put an end to this intimidation.

“The Afghan National Security Forces are the key to this country” he said.

“We are currently undertaking a number of projects in Uruzgan province which will see their standing within the community greatly improved.”

He said the attacks on his forces were an indication that the projects were hitting the Taliban extremists where it hurts.

“Taliban extremists are obviously concerned with the progress we are making.  With the rise of the national security forces, comes the Taliban’s downfall” said Lieutenant Colonel Jarvie.

“That is why they are trying to disrupt our work. Taliban extremists have found out the hard way previously, that we will defence our ground and fight back if they threaten us or the local community” he added.

Lieutenant Colonel Jarvie said the latest incidents will not disrupt his mission.

“We will continue with our work in bettering local communities and through that show Taliban extremists that they have no place here.

“We are determined to creating necessary infrastructure to better the lives of the local communities.  In the case of building this new police out-post, this will assist local Afghan National Security Forces in deterring those who foster terror and oppose the people’s right to freedom” Lieutenant Colonel Jarvie said.

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/