32 Taliban Killed; Afghan Movement Agency Makes First Delivery
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 29, 2006 Coalition forces killed 32 insurgents and destroyed two Taliban headquarters buildings in Afghanistan's Helmand province today, officials at Bagram Air Base said.
The early-morning engagement continued into daylight hours as coalition forces defeated a large enemy element that was attempting to retreat into sanctuaries.
Coalition forces also discovered large caches of munitions as they overran the Taliban compound and the enemy fled. Coalition forces destroyed the munitions, which included weapons and bomb-making materials, causing multiple secondary explosions and destroying the compound and all enemy military equipment inside.
"The capturing of these two compounds with boots on the ground produced significant intelligence and allows us to continue to put pressure on the enemy," Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata, deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76, said. "With our coalition partners and the government of Afghanistan, we are committed to continuing offensive operations against the Taliban and other terrorists that are attempting to disrupt the considerable progress of reconstruction and governance in Afghanistan."
In other news from Afghanistan, after several training deliveries, the Afghan National Army's Central Movement Agency conducted its inaugural movement operations recently, delivering military rations to forward operating units in the Kabul area, officials said today.
This event, officials said, highlights the progress the agency has made toward total self-sufficient capability. The agency consists of 90 Afghan army troops and 33 new vehicles, and will mature to 890 people and 627 vehicles organized into four transportation companies. It will serve as the Afghan army's national transportation system and stand ready to provide vital military transportation services for the army across Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.
Training sessions attended by all of the unit's vehicle operators covered basic preventive maintenance checks and services, driver responsibilities, vehicle-specific operation, and safety. The training also included professional military topics, such as mentoring junior officers, command-level decision-making, and noncommissioned officers' roles and responsibilities.
"The CMA needs to continue training and make sure we put the correct personnel into the correct sections. Also, we need more people and equipment to make sure we're ready for future missions," Afghan army Sgt. 1st Class Muhammad Ali said.
CMA operators rotated through the intensive, formal and hands-on courses and used Kabul area cargo-movement missions as training events. They put skills learned in the classroom to use behind the wheel. Drivers are now driving newly acquired 7-ton medium tactical vehicles.
"We must keep our professional attitudes and military discipline to accomplish each future mission safely," Afghan army Maj. Muhammad Esrar said.
The agency's commander, Col. Ghulan Rasoul, and his team of officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers said they are eager to begin independent operations and are enthusiastic about the future. "The Afghan people are ready to see their army providing supplies to all army units," Rasoul said. "I feel comfortable with our current soldiers' capabilities and am excited to continue the training for the missions to come. Soon we will provide the nationwide services currently provided by commercial contractors."
(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)