HERAT PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Commandos from the Afghan National Army’s 2nd Company, 9th Kandak, conducted air and ground operations in the Herat province, including a patrol in the Deh Lattah village, Guzarah district, Dec. 16.
The operation, which was the company’s second Mi-17 helicopter-supported mission, was implemented to search out the presence of insurgents, identify more efficient patrol routes, and develop rapport with the local population of Deh Lattah.
The mission was completely planned, coordinated, and executed by the Commandos, with very little guidance from coalition special operations forces. Based on intelligence acquired by the Commandos, 2nd Company was able to plan, request, and synchronize the Mi-17 air support.
While patrolling the Deh Lattah village, local citizens were very receptive to the ANA presence and assisted the Commandos in navigating the area during their search for insurgent presence. The Commandos also met with the villagers and handed out pamphlets to provide information about the local and national government.
“The local Afghan population realizes that the Afghan government, through the Afghan National Security Forces, is actively providing security and stability for locals in the Guzurah district of the Herat province,” said a SOF team leader.
During the past six weeks, 2nd Company conducted the Kandak’s first independent ground assault-force mission and its first two Mi-17 supported missions. Commandos from the 2nd Company are setting an example for the other companies of the Kandak to follow, leading all of their own operations, and building local confidence through their professional conduct and demeanor.
“It’s clear that 2nd Company is the strongest company [in the Kandak] and has raised the bar for standards within the Kandak,” added the SOF team leader.
Both the 9th Commando Kandak commander, Lt. Col. Natibullah, and executive officer, Maj. Abdul Satar, stated the Commandos did a decent job while performing these operations. They said they have confidence in 2nd Company’s ability to operate in remote areas and secure the Afghan people against any kind of danger.
Commandos from 2nd Company, 9th Commando Kandak are the first to conduct air assault operations with the Mi-17 helicopter. Other companies in the Kandak are following suit and will begin conducting first-ever, independent operations in the near future.