‘TF Bronco’ disrupts insurgent activity in Wanat village

| October 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

A Soldier with 3rd BCT, “TF Bronco,” 25th ID, organizes his gear while in a dug-out fighting position overlooking Wanat village, recently. The 3rd BCT and the ANA conducted a two-day mission to disrupt insurgent activity in and around the village.

A Soldier with 3rd BCT, “TF Bronco,” 25th ID, organizes his gear while in a dug-out fighting position overlooking Wanat village, recently. The 3rd BCT and the ANA conducted a two-day mission to disrupt insurgent activity in and around the village.

Story and Photos by
Pfc. Zackary Root
7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Three years ago, Combat Outpost Kahler and Observation Post Topside were the target of a Taliban attack that left nine U.S. Soldiers dead, 27 wounded and an area void of any coalition force presence — until now.

Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, “Task Force Bronco,” 25th Infantry Division, and the Afghan National Army conducted a two-day mission to disrupt insurgent activity in and around Wanat, here, recently.

Wanat is a small village that straddles the border between Nuristan and Kunar provinces in the Waygul Valley, here.

“We went into the enemy’s backyard easily, and we were able to operate there freely,” said Lt. Col. Colin Tuley, commander, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, whose Soldiers took part in the ANA-led mission.

Conducted as part of a border-wide effort to disrupt movements of insurgents throughout the area, the mission in and around Wanat was a response to insurgent activity reported in the area. The mission carried what Tuley called a “clear message about ANA and coalition capabilities.”

“The Taliban and the enemy networks understand there is no place to create a safe haven,” Tuley said. “The ANA and coalition (forces) can reach out and touch them anywhere.”

Sending this message was important in dispelling the myth that some areas of the country were off-limits to Afghan and coalition forces, according to Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky, deputy commander, Combined Joint Task Force-1 and Regional Command-East.

A Soldier with 3rd BCT, “TF Bronco,” 25th ID, looks through his scope during a border-wide effort to disrupt movements of insurgents throughout the area.

A Soldier with 3rd BCT, “TF Bronco,” 25th ID, looks through his scope during a border-wide effort to disrupt movements of insurgents throughout the area.

“A lot of people were worried that Nuristan and northern Kunar (provinces were) an area where the enemy had free movement,” he said.

Volesky and Tuley both say this isn’t the case, highlighting this mission as further evidence that ANA can increasingly lead security efforts wherever they need to.

“The real significance was bringing our Afghan counterparts,” Volesky said. “They led the clearance and proved their security forces can go anywhere as well.”

Soldiers of TF Bronco played a supporting role by settling down in a fire-support position on a hillside and providing watch for their Afghan partners in the village.

To clear up any confusion about the intent of their presence, ANA and coalition forces also handed out cards to villagers with the words “We are back.” The message left little doubt as to the ANA’s and coalition’s capabilities, according to Pfc. Deken Marmen, rifleman, 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt.

“We are still willing to push forward and continue the mission to help the Afghan people and to let the Taliban know we are not afraid of them,” he said.

 

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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