Afghan, Coalition forces kill five combatants in Kandahar
Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghan and Coalition forces killed five combatants in Kandahar Province during an operation to disable a Taliban network that facilitates logistics for attacks in the province, and which is directly linked to the suicide attack in Maywand District that killed four Afghan civilians and a Coalition Forces member in January.
In Maywand District, Kandahar Province, approximately 63 km northwest of Kandahar City, a joint force conducted an operation in a rural village to capture Taliban militants operating in Northern Kandahar. As the assault force approached the targeted area, a group of men was observed moving away from one of the compounds. Coalition Forces pursued the group of suspected militants, killing two combatants who maneuvered on the force during the initial encounter. Five other men in the group were questioned, but were released after forces determined they were non-combatants.
At the same time at various compounds in the rural village, Afghan and Coalition forces called out for all non-combatants to exit buildings, a practice used to ensure civilians are protected while the assault force searches for Taliban known to force residents to shelter them. While searching one structure, forces encountered three barricaded enemy combatants, all of whom were killed during the assault. The combined force searched the remaining compounds without incident.
Fourteen women and 41 children were protected.
ANSF, Coalition Forces kill 27 insurgents in southern AfghanistanKABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, assisted by Coalition Forces, killed 27 insurgents in two separate incidents in southern Afghanistan today Thursday while conducting operations in support of the security and stability of the country.
In the Shahid E-Hassas District, Oruzgan (Uruzgan) Province, the Afghan and Coalition forces were conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol when they were engaged by insurgents using small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire from fighting positions located on a ridgeline and from a dry riverbed.
The combined force responded with small-arms, rocket-propelled grenade and close-air support fire, killing 12 insurgents.
At one point in the engagement, insurgents fled into a nearby bazaar, endangering innocent Afghan civilians in the area. The combined forces took careful measures to mitigate any possible loss of innocent life by not pursuing the insurgents into the bazaar. The insurgents then regrouped outside the bazaar and were killed by the Afghan and Coalition forces.
In a separate engagement in the Lashkar Gah District, Helmand Province, Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition Forces killed 15 insurgents.
The combined elements were conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol when they were engaged by insurgents using small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire.
The friendly forces responded with small-arms fire, heavy weapons and close air support, resulting in the deaths of 15 enemies of Afghanistan.
There were no ANSF, Coalition Forces or non-combatant injuries reported.
Medics Turn Forward Operating Base Aid Station Into Afghan Emergency Room
Story by Sgt. matthew moeller
KONAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan â€" Every morning outside Forward Operating Base Blessing, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, combat medics comb through a crowd of sick or injured Afghans desperate for medical attention.
â€œThis is their ER. If something happens, this is where they are going to come,â€ said Army Spc. Danielle Lafoille, of Manistique, Mich.
In fact, since arriving at FOB Blessing last July, the 1st Infantry Division Soldiers have treated more than 4,000 Afghans, some walking as long as two days for treatment.
Although handling mostly minor ailments, such as cuts and runny noses, the aid station has seen its fair share of major injuries.
â€œWe see burns, lacerations; we do get gunshot wounds, major bone breaks. Just a huge variety of things you see in the local U.S. trauma room,â€ said Army Spc. Timothy Lickiss, a combat medic from Chester, Calif.
â€œRight now weâ€™re treating two patients who had hot tar spilled on them during an industrial accident,â€ said Army Spc. Jeremy Shepler, combat medic.
â€œHe was only wearing sandals,â€ one of the stationâ€™s two physicians said. â€œIf this was the U.S., he would have been required to wear rubber boots and gloves. Now heâ€™s just lucky heâ€™s going to keep his feet.â€
Many ailments the Soldiers treat are not seen in the U.S. because of occupational safety regulations and vaccinations.
â€œIf they had a higher standard of hygiene or healthcare, a lot of these illnesses would be removed,â€ Shepler said.
Although service members have been working with Afghan physicians since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, many local clinics in Konar province still do not have the knowledge to properly treat these types of injuries, causing many villagers to turn to the U.S. for help.
â€œ[The local clinics] are great at some things, but then theyâ€™ll miss some simple things,â€ Shepler said. â€œThey may have the technology to do X-rays, but they end up applying bandages like tourniquets.â€
A major concern for FOB Blessingâ€™s aid station is bone setters, practicing what the medics call â€œold remedies.â€
â€œA person will have a broken bone, and they go to the local bone setter, who will put eggs on it. As crazy as it is, that is some of the stuff we have seen,â€ Lafoille said.
With only one surgeon and one physicianâ€™s assistant, the aid station is not always able to provide higher levels of care. If necessary, the Soldiers will evacuate the injured Afghans to other FOBs with better facilities.
â€œWe treat them the best we can here,â€ Lickiss said. â€œBut we wonâ€™t hesitate to push them out to other FOBs with larger facilities if we need to.â€
As the end of their deployment nears, the Soldiers know they have made a difference among the Afghan people.
â€œThe locals have learned to trust our medicine, because we bring the standards that [we have] in the U.S.,â€ Shepler said. â€œThey come to us knowing that we have the knowledge and experience to make sure that they get better.â€
Afghan Forces Request International Security Assistance Force Assistance to Transport Bodies
KABUL, Afghanistan - On April 7, International Security Assistance Force airlift resources were used to transport the bodies of 45 Afghans, who tragically suffocated in a container, to Kabul.
The deceased Afghans were discovered in a truck container in south-eastern Pakistan, on the outskirts of Quetta.
It is believed the deceased were victims of a people smuggling operation.
The bodies were initially moved by vehicle to Kandahar, where the Afghan national army air corps requested ISAF air assistance.
ISAF air assets promptly responded to this request for support, and helped to transport the bodies to Kabul. ISAF values the lives of all people, and this mission was completed with both sadness for the families of the deceased, and in the spirit of sympathy and cooperation with the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
ISAF air, ground maintenance, and administrative teams worked with the ANAAC to ensure the mission was accomplished yesterday in a respectful and efficient manner.
The operation highlights ISAFâ€™s ongoing commitment to assisting and supporting the people of Afghanistan.
U.S. service member dies in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan - One U.S. service member died today of non-combat
related causes in Kabul.
The incident is under investigation.
The service member's name is withheld pending next of kin notification.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Blaise A. Oleski, 22, of Holland Patent, N.Y., died April 8 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.