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Task Force Slugger continues push into Nerkh

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Soldiers from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, as part of Task Force Slugger, pushed westward into the Nerkh district of Wardak Province, Afghanistan, May 23-25 to focus on security.

The three-day operation, based out of a joint security station in Nerkh, emphasized detaining insurgents rather than just maintaining security presence the farther west they pushed.

Capt. Andrew Miller, commander of Co A, 2nd Bn, 30th Inf Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division led the main offensive effort. Miller knows what he wants to accomplish from the operation.

“We’re in the middle of a squadron operation now, trying to target some enemies and some specific targets,” said Miller. “We have patterns of life on a few different guys (insurgents); and what we’re trying to do is, instead of being terrain focused, we’re trying to focus on them and detaining them.”
Miller, knowing the area they are pushing into is not extremely safe, is happy with how things have turned out so far and applauds the effort of Afghan forces during this operation.

“This whole area, as we’ve pushed out west, has traditionally been an enemy safe haven; and with us and the (Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police), we’ve been able to push out (west),” said Miller. “We’ve found that we have freedom of maneuver. As we secure areas, the ANA (and) ANP can come in and set up checkpoints. We plan on putting more checkpoints throughout (Nerkh) to keep the bad guys from moving in on the people.”

Brig. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, Combined Joint Task Force-1 and 1st Cavalry Division deputy commanding general checked on the operation while conducting a battlefield circulation to see just what he inherited as 1st Cavalry took regional command in eastern Afghanistan. Volesky, who was given a tour of the JSS, came away pleased with how the operation is doing.

“The 1st Cavalry Division just assumed responsibility for Regional Command-East on the 19th of May, so I am out looking at the great units in RC-East and seeing the great work that they have done over their rotation,” said Volesky. “So, today we came out with … Captain Miller in Nerkh to see the great work he has done on disrupting the enemy and making things better in this district.

“I thought the ‘Spartans’ were doing really well in partnering with their Afghan counterparts,” continued Volesky. “That’s one of the most critical things we can do during this rotation is to partner and get the capability of the Afghan Security Forces ready to take the lead; and the Spartans are on the way to doing that.”

Volesky came away impressed enough with how the mission is going that he wants to use the Spartan’s operation as an example for other task forces.

“I’m going back and telling the commanding general what a great model we have seen here today,” said Volesky. “It’s clear from the brigade commander all the way down to the squad leader, this task force is locked on and making a difference every day.”

Article by Spc. BRIAN P. GLASS, Task Force Patriot Public Affairs