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: PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Erik Padilla, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment scans the area near the village of Jakarna as members of his unit exit CH-47 helicopters during an air assault operation, April 13. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment) FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan – The mountains west of the Yousef Khel District, Paktika Province, are a reputed safe haven for Anti-Afghan Forces in the eastern part of the country.

But on April 13, Soldiers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment and the Afghan National Security Forces partners air assaulted into the village of Jarkana. On this day the area was anything but safe for insurgents.

In the pre-dawn hours, Afghan Uniformed Police, members of the National Directorate of Security, and A Company Soldiers arrived in three locations around the village riding in twin-rotored CH-47 helicopters. 


 Upon landing, the AUP and A Co.’s 2nd Platoon searched the area.

During the search, AUP found one Kalashnikova machinegun and other weapons and equipment.

AUP and NDS personnel detained two suspected insurgents for their connections with the material.

“The AUP and NDS have demonstrated today that the [insurgents] can be hit anywhere and anytime,” said A Co. Commander, U.S. Army Capt. Josh Powers. “Even in the mountains, insurgents are not safe from the justice brought by Afghan National Security Forces.”

Participants in the operation also looked for a cave system rumored to be an insurgent hideout.    

As part of the operation, Powers, 3-187 commander, U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Fivecoat and Mohammed Ebrahim, sub-governor of Yosef Khel held a shura with the men of the village.

During the discussion, the leaders told villagers they had to take responsibility for their reputation as an insurgent stronghold and had to stop the insurgents from using their village for storing weapons.

The men of the village acknowledged that they had to make a choice between supporting the Taliban and supporting the Government of Afghanistan, said Powers.

As a gesture of goodwill towards the village, medics treated several villagers for their injuries and illnesses.

“This operation demonstrated to the [insurgents] that we will relentlessly pursue them in areas that they believe to be safe havens,” said Fivecoat. “There is no part of Paktika in which the [insurgents] can safely hide from the AUP, NDS, and Iron Rakkasans.”

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army Spc. Denar Atwood a medic with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment gives medical attention to a citizen of the village of Jakarna, in Paktya Province as members of his unit conduct an air assault operation, April 13. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment)


Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 06:13


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