Operation 'Omid Char', or Hope Four, recently drove a wedge in the middle of Taliban operations in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
The operation was the largest and most extensive Afghan-led maneuver planned by the command element of the 3rd Brigade, 215th Corps, with the help of elements of the partnered Brigade Advisory Group, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.
“This is a very important security position for the Gereshk District,” said Capt. Mohammad Tahir, the company commander of the 1st Tollay, 3rd Kandak, 3rd Brigade, 215th Corps. “If we build a strong presence in this region we will be able to provide better security for the Gereshk District and stop the Taliban traffic through the area.”
Coalition forces pushed through the village of Sa‟idan towards an area designated for the patrol base to be constructed.
“The first day we found a lot of improvised explosive devices going through Sa‟idan,” said Capt. Ashley P.R. Hough, the officer-in-charge of the British mentoring team from the Royal Gurkha Rifles attached to 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.
The ANA forces suffered one IED strike, in which there were minor injuries to Afghan forces.
“That didn‟t slow us down too much – the ANA were ... excellent,” said Hough. “We extracted the casualties and they carried straight on so we were up on to the hill exactly as planned.”
As the operation came to an end, the soldiers increased their security posture in the region and closed down a large open area available to the Taliban for freedom of movement.
“I see the next couple of months spent getting to know the locals, getting to know the ground, understanding the dynamics of what‟s going on here, where the Taliban is and how we can isolate them from the population,” said Hough.
Having the patrol base established and more soldiers from the Irish Guards coming to partner with the Afghan Army, there are high hopes for the small area in the district.
“We can‟t predict the future,” said Capt. Mohammad Tahir. “But I think the future is very bright for us because of the continued support of the people in the area and because of the determination our soldiers have in building security.”
Article by ISAF Joint Command