• Pfc. Daniel Frye, a mortarman with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, digs a trench during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 11. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is located in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border.

    Southern Fist II packs a punch

    Pfc. Daniel Frye, a mortarman with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, digs a trench during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 11. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is...

  • Staff Sgt. Benjamin Baird, a mortar section leader with Company Bravo, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, goes over his notes during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 11. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is located in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border.

    Southern Fist II packs a punch

    Staff Sgt. Benjamin Baird, a mortar section leader with Company Bravo, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, goes over his notes during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 11. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy...

  • From left, Col. Haji Janan, the commander of Quick Reaction Force Kandak 3rd Zone Afghan Border Police, a commander with Afghan National Army commandos and Lt. Col. Craig Normand, an officer with the Security Force Assistance Team that partners with 3rd Zone Afghan Border Police, engage in a conversation during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 11. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is located in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border.

    Southern Fist II packs a punch

    From left, Col. Haji Janan, the commander of Quick Reaction Force Kandak 3rd Zone Afghan Border Police, a commander with Afghan National Army commandos and Lt. Col. Craig Normand, an officer with the Security Force Assistance Team that partners with...

  • Sgt. 1st Class James Henderson, a platoon sergeant, talks about claymores to Spc. Johnathon Hails, a vehicle commander and Pfc. Jeremiah Carter, a rifleman, during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 12. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is located in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border. All three Soldiers are with Company Bravo, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment.

    Southern Fist II packs a punch

    Sgt. 1st Class James Henderson, a platoon sergeant, talks about claymores to Spc. Johnathon Hails, a vehicle commander and Pfc. Jeremiah Carter, a rifleman, during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 12. The purpose of the four-day operation...

  • Pfc. Jeremiah Carter, a rifleman with Company Bravo, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, detonates an M18A1 claymore during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 12. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is located in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border.

    Southern Fist II packs a punch

    Pfc. Jeremiah Carter, a rifleman with Company Bravo, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, detonates an M18A1 claymore during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 12. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens...

  • First Lt. Andrew Nicholas (left), a platoon leader speaks to Staff Sgt. John Han, a squad leader, during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 12. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is located in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border. Both soldiers are with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment.

    Southern Fist II packs a punch

    First Lt. Andrew Nicholas (left), a platoon leader speaks to Staff Sgt. John Han, a squad leader, during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 12. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district...

  • Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, speaks with Maj. Asmatullah Safi, an operations officer with the 3rd Zone Afghan Border Police, during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 11. The purpose of the four-day operation was to neutralize enemy safe havens in Shorabak district, which is located in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak district near the Pakistan border.

    Southern Fist II packs a punch

    Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey, commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, speaks with Maj. Asmatullah Safi, an operations officer with the 3rd Zone Afghan Border Police, during Operation Southern Fist II, Afghanistan, Dec. 11. The purpose of the...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan -An Afghan Border Police-led operation that included commandos from the Afghan National Army and police officers from the Afghan National Civil Order Police executed a joint operation that took place in a remote area 55 miles south of Spin Boldak near the Pakistan border in Shorabak district, Afghanistan, Dec. 8-12. The operation, dubbed Southern Fist II, aimed to neutralize enemy safe havens in the district.

The Afghan National Security Force's goal of the operation was to provide security from the mountains near the checkpoints of Shorabak district. Insurgents would continuously engage and harass checkpoint officers with enemy fire.

Approximately 450 policemen and soldiers from the three ANSF components killed 25 armed insurgents and captured five others during the coordinated joint search-and-clearance operation. They also seized a large number of weapons, ammunition, improvised explosive devices, food, uniforms and motorcycles with minimal International Security Assistance Force assistance.

"Our main focus was to neutralize the enemy," said Maj. Asmatullah Safi, an operations officer with the 3rd Zone Afghan Border Police. "The enemy thought they were so strong and we wouldn't be able to defeat them. We wanted to prove them wrong."

ISAF had a small, but vital role in the operation. They provided medical evacuation capabilities and aerial reconnaissance.

"They [Afghans] are in the lead right now," said Maj. Joseph Labarbera, the operations officer with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment. "The thing we really want to see is for them to sustain the lead; we see and feel the progress with this operation."

The 2-23 Infantry along with various Security Force Assistance Teams partnered with the ABP Kandaks in the area. Labarbera added that the confidence of the Afghan police officers and soldiers involved rose after the completion of this mission.

"We tested our ability to eliminate the threat of enemies in the area of operation," Asmatullah said. "We wanted to find out how to best destroy the enemy without ISAF assistance in future operations."

The outcome of this operation was another step fro the ANSF to work together, independently in the southern region of Afghanistan.

"This operation gave their leadership confidence to go out and conduct operations outside of their comfort zone," Labarbera said.

If the ANSF can maintain operations like this, the security of southern Afghanistan can be reached. The Taliban will become a diminished force that will have little ability to negotiate or hold any presence in this area, Labarbera noted.

"Insurgents will not go to that place again," said Asmatullah. "In that region, the enemy is finished 100 percent."

Page last updated Sun December 23rd, 2012 at 07:34