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IJC Operational Update, Jan. 12, 2010

Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly VersionSend to a FriendSend to a FriendIn an early morning operation yesterday in the Now Zad area of Helmand province, ISAF forces witnessed a large number of insurgents near a safe house preparing ammunition and observed insurgent mortar teams moving equipment. An unmanned aerial vehicle launched one Hellfire missile killing 13 insurgents. There are no reports of civilian casualties or damage to residential compounds. In another operation yesterday, three insurgents with weapons were killed after they took up previously used firing positions in the Nad Ali district, Helmand. A UAV fired one Hellfire missile, eliminated the threat and the impact caused a small hole in a compound wall. Assessment of battle damage is ongoing. Yesterday in the Shindand District, Herat province, an Afghan-international security force killed known insurgents. The operation, designed to capture a known IED facilitator, is part of a wider campaign against an insurgent network in the Zeerko valley area. In Kandahar yesterday, a joint force captured a Taliban IED commander and other militants responsible for deadly IED attacks after the security force stopped a vehicle on a highway in the Panjwayee District. After several warnings the force was met with an imminent threat and killed one insurgent. No Afghan civilians were harmed in any of these operations. ANA soldiers graduate NATO weapons training A class of 94 ANA soldiers from the 203rd Thunder Corps graduated from a week-long NATO weapons training course, Jan. 7, at Forward Operating Base Thunder in Paktya province. The NATO weapons course, which focused on familiarization with the M-16 rifle, allows the ANA soldiers to train with newer weapons than the Russian-made weapons previously used. "The Russian weapons have been in their inventory for a long time," said Lt. Col. Jack Parker, Jr., the Combined Joint Task Force training officer. "It's good for the partnership to be able to operate on the same weapon platform." Mohammad Thaeir, a senior non-commissioned officer with the ANA who took the NATO weapons course, echoed Parker's sentiments. Thaeir, who has served in the ANA for five years, said he's excited to use modern weapons that are more accurate and efficient than the weapons they used in the past. Parker said that it's ANA soldiers and not ISAF who perform the majority of the hands-on training. He added this was not the case when the program started in September 2008, but the ANA trainers now take the lead with ISAF personnel filling a more supervisory role.