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An Afghan-international security force searched a compound west of the village of Akram Kaldy last night, in the Nawa district of Helmand after intelligence found insurgent activity in the area. During the search the assault force captured a Taliban facilitator suspected of manufacturing and placing IEDs and detained two other insurgents. One of the insurgents attacked a member of the joint force and was injured during the capture.
In Kandahar last night, a joint security force searched a compound in Kandahar City and captured a Taliban commander and other militants responsible for the movement of illegal weapons. The Afghan-international security force found several weapons, including a machine gun, a grenade launcher and numerous rocket-propelled grenade rounds.
In Khost last night, an Afghan-international security force searched a compound north of the town of Chawkey, in the Sabari district and captured a Taliban commander and other militants responsible for the deployment of IEDs and suicide attacks. The security force recovered a rifle, pistol and an IED pressure plate.
No shots were fired and no Afghan citizens were harmed during these operations.
In Wardak last night, a joint security force searched a compound outside the village of Pirdad, in the Nerkh district and detained several suspected militants. A local Afghan citizen was slightly injured during the assault.
There were no shots fired in the operation.
ANA conducts first all-Afghan air assault
The Kabul Air Wing of the Afghan national army air corps completed the first all-Afghan air assault, Jan. 4.
The operation, "Kommando Toufon," or Commando Storm, transported more than 70 commandos and their mentors to their objective in the Wardak province. The operation took four Mi-17s with 20 aircrew members.
The entire operation was considered a complete success.
Combined action in the Khost-Gardez pass
ISAF and Afghan national security force members are working together to increase security and governance along the Khost-Gardez pass at a new Combined Tactical Operations Center at Forward Operating Base Wilderness and Combat Outpost Deysie.
The Khost-Gardez pass, a doorway through the southern Hindu Kush mountains, connects downtown Khost to Gardez City and is a critical route for Afghanistan.
"The [Khost-Gardez] road is the primary route between Khost province, Gardez in Paktya, and in turn, to the rest of Afghanistan," said U.S. Army Capt. Neal R. Erickson, of FOB Wilderness. "It's a major supply route and due to the heavy traffic, it provides an opportunity for the local population to improve their economic standing."
Insurgents want control of the road as well so ISAF and ANA soldiers are partnering together with combined action. Combined action takes place at all levels of leadership, from the commanders to the non-commissioned officers.
"As a team leader in an infantry platoon, I train and work with both ISAF and ANA soldiers," said U.S. Army Sgt. Kaylon Ross, infantry team leader. "The ANA knows the steps they need to take to get men, weapons, [ammunition], accountability, and other supplies from their leadership and not ours."
The partnership with the ANSF and coalition forces in the CTOC are improving day by day, preparing the ANSF for when coalition forces will hand over full responsibilities.
"Our task is to mentor the local ANA in order to eventually hand over the region entirely to the Afghan government," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Sam N. Larsh.
"Since we started combined action operations, the ANA now have a TOC to plan missions," said Ross. "They have men on their radios monitoring traffic, they track their soldiers when they go on leave, they plan missions, and they are proactive."
Combining efforts has lead to increased security and with the help of the CTOC, local and national government can prove to the local people they can complete the mission.
"We're just one piece of the puzzle and improving our area of operations has a positive effect on both Paktya and Khost provinces and in turn will continue to build the infrastructure of Afghanistan," said Erickson.