KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (July 16, 2012) -- The Afghan Uniformed Police and Afghan National Army partnered with C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, to conduct clearance operations in the Shah Wali Kot district, Afghanistan, July 7-10.
The partnered units came together in an effort to disrupt Taliban operations taking place across the district.
"We chose an area where we thought would be a lot of [improvised explosive devices], because it's not easy for the [Afghan Uniformed Police] and [Afghan National Army] to get to," said Ward. "This was an area that they identified were they wanted to go."
Clearance operations have become increasingly important across southern Afghanistan as civilian injury from improvised explosive devices has been an enduring problem.
"During the operation we were able to find a home explosives lab, where they were manufacturing anti personnel [improvised explosive devices]," said Ward.
Homemade explosives are a common ingredient found in improvised explosive devices, knows as IEDs, throughout Afghanistan.
Many of the IEDs are booby trapped to explode when stepped upon or triggered by the victim, which often leads to civilian injuries.
In a separate incident, the Afghan National Army, or ANA, partnered with the 2-17 FA responded to five insurgents emplacing IEDs and harassing civilian traffic with small arms fire in the Shah Wali Kot district, July 13.
When the ANA arrived, they found one child who suffered from a gunshot wound believed to have originated from insurgent fire.
The ANA provided emergency care and evacuated the child to an American base nearby for medical evacuation.
"The ANA initially treated the 12-year-old boy then brought him to us for further treatment and medical evacuation," said Maj. Kirk Junker, the operations officer for 2-17 FA.
The incident comes at a critical time as International forces look to transition security responsibilities to the Afghan National Security Forces in preparation for the NATO withdrawal by the end of 2014.