OEF Update, Aug. 12, 2009: US Marines, Afghan Forces Launch Operation Eastern Resolve II
Dispatches from the Front:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2009 -- U.S. Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers launched Operation Eastern Resolve II in the Now Zad District of Helmand province this morning in an effort to disrupt insurgent violence and intimidation campaigns and provide freedom of movement for Afghan citizens to have the opportunity to vote in upcoming provincial and national elections.
Approximately 100 Afghan National Army soldiers and 400 Marines and sailors from Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan constitute the bulk of the U.S. forces conducting Operation Eastern Resolve II, including Marines from Marine Aircraft Group 40, which provided helicopter lift and other aviation support for the mission.
“Our mission is to support the Independent Election Commission and Afghan national security forces. They are the ones in charge of these elections. Our job is to make sure they have the security to do their job,” said Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commanding general of MEB-Afghanistan. “While we encourage every Afghan to exercise his right to vote, who he or she votes for is none of our business.”
MEB-Afghanistan is a subordinate unit of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. The combined U.S. and Afghan mission is to provide security for population centers and connect local citizens with their legitimate government while establishing stable and secure conditions for national elections scheduled for later this month as well as enhancing security for the future.
(From a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release.)
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