Afghan National Army soldiers of the 2nd Kandak, 1st Brigade, 205th ANA Corps and International Security Assistance Force soldiers of Task Force “Tomahawks” 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment conducted a two-day clearance operation in Panjwai district, Kandahar province, Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, 2012 that resulted in 31 improvised explosive devices being found and cleared.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 9, the soldiers of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, Task Force 1-23 met with their ANA partners to conduct final preparations before starting their clearance mission. Upon completion of these last tasks they began movement to their objective location via foot patrol.
Shortly after first light the soldiers discovered the first IED; they secured the area and reduced the explosive device. The patrol continued mission and within 30 minutes they found two more IEDs which were also cleared. The next IED was discovered after patrolling for approximately an hour more; this IED was neutralized and the mission continued.
By 10 a.m. the joint combat patrol had repeated the above process 12 times which resulted in 18 IEDs being found and cleared. The ANA and ISAF soldiers continued mission and would have to stop seven more times resulting in the discovery and clearance of 11 more IEDS by mid-afternoon.
The second day of the mission resulted in two more IEDs being found and cleared without incident. During the mission the patrol was engaged three times with small arms fire.
The final tally for the two-day mission conducted by the soldiers of the 2nd Kandak and Task Force 1-23 was 31 IEDs, consisting of 93 kgs of homemade explosive, found and cleared with no IED strikes. This mission resulted in no injuries or damage to ISAF, ANA, or Afghan civilians.
Article by Capt. Troy Frey, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division