Thursday, December 24, 2009

OEF Update, Dec. 24, 2009: Militants Detained; Caches Discovered; ISAF Casualties

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 2009 -- An Afghan-international security force detained several suspected militants in Helmand while searching for a Taliban commander linked to a murder and intimidation campaign.

The joint security force went to a compound north of the village of Ser Banader in the Garmsir district after intelligence experts confirmed militant activity in the area. When the joint force approached the compound they came under hostile fire. Later, while searching the compound they detained the militants.

In an operation in Kandahar, a joint security force captured a suspected Taliban commander believed to be responsible for recent assassinations and detained a couple of other militants.

The security force searched a compound just south of Kandahar City after intelligence assets located militant activity there and took the Taliban commander and militants into custody.

In an operation in Khowst, an Afghan-international security force detained about a dozen suspected Haqqani militants and recovered illegal weapons.

The security force moved into a series of compounds in the Sabari district after intelligence sources found a concentration of militant activity. After an extensive search, the security force detained the militants. The joint force also found AK-47 rifles and pistols.

In other operations, international security forces discovered three weapons caches and drugs in the Helmand province yesterday while conducting a patrol.

The unit seized AK-47s, ammunition magazines, more than 200 7.62mm rounds and 40 pounds of black heroin tar in the Now Zad district.

The drugs were destroyed and the weapons were seized as evidence.

No civilians were harmed in any of these operations.

Afghan Police Receive Medical Training:

Afghan police officers from six districts recently attended a new medical training course in Ghazni province.

Provincial Reconstruction Team Ghazni corpsmen created the course at the request of Afghan police. The course trains attendees at a level above basic combat life saver, enabling them to take the knowledge back to fellow policemen in their own districts.

The chief of police for each district handpicked each officer to attend the two days of instruction on FOB Ghazni. The officers learned basic first aid, hemorrhage control, how to prepare patients for medical evacuation by helicopter, treating for tension pneumothorax, and starting IVs.

"They asked a lot of good questions and seemed really interested and eager to learn. They weren’t afraid of starting IVs and being hands on," said Lt. Joseph Baugh, naval physician’s assistant, Ghazni PRT.

As the ANSF across Afghanistan become further partnered with coalition forces, it becomes increasingly important to have them trained on similar equipment. Giving ANP officers basic first aid skills and the ability to treat combat injuries will enable them to apply these skills to the civilian communities as well.

Future plans include training Afghan police to perform more advanced medical life-saving techniques.

ISAF Casualties:

An ISAF servicemember from United Kingdom was killed in an IED attack in southern Afghanistan Tuesday. An ISAF servicemember from Canada was killed by an IED in southern Afghanistan Wednesday.

(Compiled from NATO International Security Assistance Force news releases.)

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