KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The support of the Afghan people is an important part of counterinsurgency and defeating the Taliban.
A prime example of this occurred when a tip from an Afghan villager allowed a 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment platoon and the Afghan National Police to prevent a rocket attack from potentially harming Coalition Forces on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, April 11, 2011.
The villager reported a group of Taliban setting up an indirect rocket just outside the base, and the Soldiers from 3rd Platoon, Mad Dog Troop, 4th Squadron, 2SCR, and ANP had to race against time to neutralize it.
"It was set up with a battery and wires connected to it - it was ready to launch," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jordan L. Bass, platoon leader for 3rd Platoon, Mad Dog Troop, 2SCR.
The ANP were first on the scene. They secured the area, indentified the threat, and waited for back up from their Coalition partners.
Soon after the 2SCR Soldiers arrived. They marked the rocket's location and a 500-pound bomb was dropped on the ordnance, destroying it instantly.
The mission was a success, but the real victory was for the Afghan government and its people, said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Dustin L. Carroll, platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon, Mad Dog Troop, 4th Squadron, 2SCR.
"Really we did nothing," said Bass, a Jacksonville, Ala., native. "The Afghans did it all - all we did was drop the bomb. What happened here today was an excellent example of what we're trying to do out here."
Carroll, a Forest City, N.C., native, said the village elder put out a message just a day before the incident, telling people to inform the police of any suspicious activity. When one of the villagers saw a group of men acting suspiciously in the middle of the night, that's exactly what he did.
The event shows just how much the Afghan people are starting to trust their government, which is a huge thing for the region, said Bass.
"We are very happy the civilians called us," said ANP Chief Allahnoor, police chief for a local ANP checkpoint in the area. "I am sure if they see another rocket they will call us. I am very happy about that."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16