OEF Update, Dec. 16, 2009: Forces Detain Taliban Commanders; 3 ISAF Casualties
Dispatches from the Front:
KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 16, 2009 -- An Afghan-international security force detained two Taliban commanders and another suspected militant in Wardak province today. These commanders are involved with IED activity and responsible for several attacks in the area.
The joint force searched compounds near the village of Bhardokheyl where intelligence sources reported militant activity. The militants were detained without incident.
In another operation, security forces detained a Taliban commander and a few other militants in western Kandahar province today. This commander has led a sizable militant element and is responsible for a number of IED attacks in the area.
The joint force searched a compound near the village of Haji Abdourraf in the Zhari district where intelligence sources reported the Taliban commander to be located. The militants were detained without incident.
In a third operation, a security force detained another sought after Taliban commander and other militants in central Kandahar today. This commander is responsible for several attacks in the area and has links to other militant elements.
The joint security force searched compounds near the village of Pitaway in the Arghandab district where intelligence sources reported the commander to be located. The joint force searched the compound without incident and detained the militants.
No shots were fired and no one was harmed during these operations.
Afghans Attend Writing Seminar:
Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team engineers combated accusations of favoritism and corruption by establishing a technical proposal writing workshop held Dec. 3.
The workshop, created to educate local companies regarding the requirements mandated by the U.S. Government for the awarding of contracts, is led by Engineer Mohammad Kareem, Director of Technical and Sectorial Service for Ghazni province.
The perception of corruption and favoritism in the contract award process was partially due to the limited number of companies who can be awarded contracts. Another part of the negative perception was due to a number of companies not fully understanding the bidding requirements.
"The main focus of the program is to increase Afghan engineering capacity by having Afghan engineers teach their counterparts how to write high-quality technical proposals for projects," said Navy Lt. James Bowen, Ghazni PRT engineer from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. "This training will help Afghan contractors improve the quality of their technical proposals, thereby making them more competitive for not only PRT projects, but commercial projects as well."
The course included examples of the details found in properly written proposals such as cost estimation, technical drawings and designs, construction schedules and proposal package contents.
"The contractors were happy with what they learned at the seminar," Kareem said. "They would like to have more seminars so they can learn more about the process."
Two ISAF servicemembers from the United Kingdom were killed in an IED strike and one servicemember from Estonia was killed in a separate IED strike in southern Afghanistan yesterday.
(Compiled from NATO International Security Assistance Force news releases.)