Story by OR-6 Mark Doran
Task Force Knighthawk, 2-10 Aviation Regiment, on June 18. Photo by by OR-6 Mark Doran
DEH RAWUD, Afghanistan - Representing an important step towards Afghan independence, the deconstruction of the last ‘ISAF manned’ Forward Operating Base in Uruzgan province is now complete.
All remaining coalition personnel and equipment at FOB Hadrian, which is 60km west of Tarin Kot, were removed on June 23.
FOB Hadrian was deconstructed in line with the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) enduring plan for the province.
Col. Douglas C. Cardinale, Commander 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, and Deputy Commander Combined Team Uruzgan (CTU), says the ANSF secures Deh Rawud district from nearby Patrol Base Tycz and continues to expand their influence in the area.
“The Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army have been doing a good job, and showing they are capable of conducting independent operations,” he said.
“The insurgency wasn’t expecting the resistance that the ANSF has put up this fighting season.
“They have held not only the town centres but also the peripheries.”
Recent insurgent attacks on Afghan Police checkpoints in the Deh Rawud and Shahid-e Hassas districts have been successfully repelled by Afghan soldiers who are now employing complex tactical manoeuvres such as clearing air space for artillery and mortar fire.
Australian and US Army engineers worked from December 2012 to deconstruct the large base and reduce the tactical infrastructure, which included two M777A2 howitzers from the US Army’s
1st Battalion 9th Field Artillery Regiment.
CTU Deputy Chief Engineer, Capt. Michael Jasny, said the ground has been handed over in a clean and sustainable condition, with only the base’s perimeter walls left to be deconstructed by contracted support.
“The two howitzers were airlifted to Kandahar Airfield by US Army CH-47 Chinooks from Task Force Knighthawk on June 18 along with containers of stores and equipment.”
“The site itself will be returned to bare earth as it was before we were here,” he said.
“There were no issues from the environmental inspection.”
Initially a Dutch base until their withdrawal in 2010, Australian and US Mentoring Teams worked out of FOB Hadrian training and patrolling with the their ANSF partners, in particular, the 1st Kandak of the 4th Brigade, 205th Hero Corps.
The 1st Kandak achieved operational independence in November 2012.
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