23 June 2008

PR# 2008-282

ANA forces begin returning from Kandahar

Soldiers from Afghanistan’s 201st Corps exit an Afghan National Army Air Corps aircraft at Kabul International Airport June 21. The soldiers returned from a counter-insurgency operation in Kandahar province. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Beth Del Vecchio)

KABUL, Afghanistan - With no assistance from ISAF, the Afghan National Army Air Corps recently returned most of the Afghan soldiers that were deployed to Kandahar province.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan deployed forces from Kabul to the province June 17 in response to claims that insurgent forces had seized control of Arghandab district and were prepared to attack Kandahar city. ANA and ISAF moved into the district, confronting only light resistance from the insurgent forces. Within 24 hours of Operation Doar Bukhou (Turn Around), ANA and ISAF units declared the region as safe.

An Afghan soldier from the 201st Corps stands in front of an Afghan National Army Air Corps aircraft at Kabul International Airport June 21. The soldier returned from a counter-insurgency operation in Kandahar province. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Beth Del Vecchio)

With the mission ending, ANA started returning forces June 20 using only ANA air and ground assets and has not needed ISAF assistance.

“This mission, from beginning to end, has been a solid success for Afghanistan,” said General David McKiernan, ISAF commander. “The international community can look upon this mission as a milestone, a point when Afghan National Security Forces took on the bulk of logistics and responsibility for a major operation, and it was a success.”

Soldiers from Afghanistan’s 201st Corps exit an Afghan National Army Air Corps aircraft at Kabul International Airport June 21. The soldiers returned from a counter-insurgency operation in Kandahar province. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Beth Del Vecchio)

The ANA used both Afghan National Army Air Corps and ISAF planes to move troops into the Kandahar province, but the ANA solely handled all other logistical operations such as moving vehicles and ammunition into the region to support the influx of its troops. For the return, ANA has not yet needed ISAF assistance, but the commander said ISAF is ready and willing to help.

“The proud soldiers of the ANA have a strong desire to fight for the safety and security of their country, and this mission is a prime example,” the general said. “Their capability to do so will only improve ISAF and the international community’s ability to continue with training and reconstruction throughout the country.”

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/