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● A Royal Navy Sea King fl ies out of Sangin Forward Operating
Base in southern Afghanistan
Picture: LA(Phot) Nick Tryon
Striking at the heart
ROYAL Marines Commandos have
the local population, searching for insurgents’ Throughout the course of Operation Janubi but by breaking the grip of the insurgents on an
struck at the Taleban heartland in a
weapons and bomb-making equipment. Tapu – Southern Vulture – rapid helicopter hops area, ISAF troops can follow up to allow local
series of airborne assaults.
The initiative also demonstrated the group’s and night infiltration meant the Commando was reconstruction and development.
ability to suddenly appear on the scene at a constantly one step ahead of the insurgents. The Commanding Officer of 42 Cdo Group, Lt
The Royals of 42 Commando Group
time and place of their choosing to disrupt Ground manoeuvres were still vital – the men Col Charlie Stickland RM, said: “We sought to
have pushed deep into rural Kandahar, in Taleban activity. of L Company captured a motorbike-borne use true Commando tactics on this operation
southern Afghanistan, using helicopters
The new tactics immediately yielded results. suicide bomber before he could detonate the using a helicopter assault and light, agile forces
to hit insurgent positions in support
A sensitive approach to the locals provided explosives, saving the lives of both fellow to land into the heart of the insurgents’ safe
of a Canadian initiative to redraw the
strong leads, and although a number of ‘robust Servicemen as well as local villagers. haven.
boundaries of International Security
engagements with their foe’ ensued as the The rapid movement and well-planned “I wanted to completely change the dynamics
Taleban sought to hang on to territory and searches prevented insurgents from mounting in the key area, and through rapid manoeuvre
Assistance Force (ISAF) influence in the
materiel, the Royals rapidly gained control. a coherent response – testimony to the efficacy and the robust but culturally-sensitive approach
Vast amounts of explosives and associated of the training carried out by the green berets of the Marines, we achieved our aim.
The conventional tactic is to move into a
equipment were seized over the following 36 over the summer. “Each time he took us on he lost; we detained
location from secured flank areas, painstakingly
hours, as well as valuable intelligence relating Having secured the area, the Royals now some significant players with a supporting
clearing the way for ISAF troops. to the whole of southern Afghanistan, not just move on to work with another national evidential chain and removed a huge quantity
But the Commando Group was flown in the province of Kandahar. contingent within ISAF. of munitions from the battlefield.
using waves of helicopters, swiftly striking at More than 600kg of home-made explosives By dropping in to an area and immediately “Importantly, we also left the area having
an area which has up to now been regarded by and 3.8km of wire used for detonation was winning the confidence of local villagers, the placed constant doubt in the insurgents’ mind
insurgents as a safe haven. recovered, along with numerous mines, small commandos win themselves unprecedented and reassured the locals that ISAF forces are
Using intelligence to pick out specific arms and ammunition. freedom of movement to confront the Taleban fair, honest and targeted in what we do.
compounds in rural settlements, the green All was either removed from the area or and seize their arsenals. “An outstanding operation by the ‘smiley
berets started the process of moving amongst destroyed. Each deployment may last only a week or so, boys’ of 42 Commando.”
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