01 Feb. 2009
PR# 2009-104

ANSF lead first security operation in Helmand Province with ISAF support

KABUL, Afghanistan - Since Operation Attal was completed in January, Danish troops deployed to Task Force Helmand under International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Regional Command South have been conducting assessment patrols in villages in the Gureshk District of Helmand Province.

Operation Attal was the first security operation in the Helmand Province that was completely led by the Afghan National Army (ANA) with minimal ISAF involvement.

“It was a significant step in the direction we would like to see the ANA take,” said Danish Major John Adamsen, Bravo Corps Officer in Charge at Task Force Helmand, which operates out of Forward Operating Base Price. “What we’ve been doing since the operation concluded, is travelling with both ANA and ANP (Afghan National Police) into the villages to assess what damage has occurred, so that we can re-establish our working relationship with local Afghans.”

Danish Captain Soren Deckman said most of the damage came as a result of the insurgents taking refuge in public structures, such as schools and homes, and that ISAF will work hard to rebuild what was damaged.

“It’s a trend of insurgents to hide in these places thinking they won’t be followed,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because it’s the people who suffer from their actions. But we are here to ensure local Afghans get what they need to rebuild and get back to a normal life.”

On Jan. 26, the ANP led ISAF troops, under the command of Adamsen, into the Mayai village to speak with village elders and to introduce themselves to the Afghan residents.

Deckman said it will be that connection that will further support ISAF’s mission of governance and reconstruction in Helmand Province.

“With the ANA and ANP in place and the people working with them, it will make it that much easier to find the insurgents,” he said. “Our goal is to continue staying on the side and watch as the ANA takes control.”

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/