By U.S. Army Sgt. Mark A. Moore II
2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade Public Affairs
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (May 6, 2013) -- Rendering safe improvised explosive devices, reacting to small arms fire and countering mortar attacks were challenges Afghan National Army and U.S. Army Soldiers overcame during a clearing operation conducted in the Bermal District of Paktika Province, April 21-May 3.
Taking the lead during Operation Pamier were ANA soldiers assigned to the 2nd and 4th Kandaks, 2nd Brigade, 203rd "Thunder" Corps, who advanced dismounted over mountainous terrain, to clear eight villages. They also seized weapons caches containing IED power components, mortar rounds, rocket propelled grenades, ANA and U.S. Army patterned bags and a suicide vest.
"The overall mission was to have the ANA clear villages looking for insurgent activity and weapons caches," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Bradley A. Johns-Parson, battle captain assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, Task Force "Golden Dragons," 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, Forward Operating Base Boris. "Our mission was to advise and assist when needed and to provide over watch for dismounted personnel."
Also responsible for providing overwatch were ANA fire support soldiers assigned to 4/2/203rd Corps, who called in over 60 D30 Howitzer counter-fire missions. These missions fired over 170 high explosive rounds contributing to the suppression of the enemy, enabling ANA and U.S. forces to continue clearance operations.
"All of my soldiers are interested in engaging the enemy and securing our area," said Gholam Hassan, the fire support officer assigned to 4/2/203rd Corps. "When we send the enemy's grid coordinate to our fire direction coordinators and they shoot, we are successful in our mission."
Throughout the mission ANA soldiers received minimal advising and assistance from U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Green 2, Security Force Assistance Team, demonstrating their proficiency in their military craft and a strong desire to operate independently.
"The advising we gave was very limited," said U.S. Army Capt. Robert J. Reidel, team leader of Green 2, Security Force Advisory Team, Task Force "Golden Dragons". "We would sit down and talk through the plan, discuss the situation, advise on possible courses of action then let the ANA decide what they wanted to do."
"I was impressed by the soldiers and junior leader in the Kandaks," said Reidel. "They were ready to go out there; their motivation was high even on the last day of patrol."